Date of Award

Fall 12-17-2019

Semester of Degree


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Environmental Science

Major Professor

Ruth Yanai

Steering Committee Member

Timothy J. Fahey

Steering Committee Member

Melany C. Fisk

Steering Committee Member

Mariann Johnston


Understanding how trees respond to nutrient availability and allocate nutrients is important in addressing nutrient status and limitation in various ecosystems. While nutrient limitation status is well documented in some ecosystems, it is not consistent in northeastern temperate forests. And few studies have compared responses of multiple species to nutrient availability. In this study, we examined the effects of nitrogen and phosphorus addition on foliar N and P across ten forest stands in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Unsurprisingly, foliar N and P, overall, increased when the respective nutrient was added; the percent increase in foliar P was much higher than that of foliar N. However, they exhibited decreases when the other nutrient was added. Pin cherry had higher foliar N and P concentrations than American beech, red maple, sugar maple, white birch, and yellow birch. With this information on foliar N and P, we hope to improve upon thresholds of N:P ratios previously reported to indicate N versus P limitation.