At the Novus Workshop 1, held at HJ Andrews Experimental Forest in 2013, participants focused on temporal scaling of disturbance impacts, from individual disturbance events, to millennial scale changes in disturbance regimes. Out of these discussions, several participants developed the partitioning ratio (ratio of soil to plant nutrient pools) as a way to track biogeochemical responses to ecosystem disturbance. Disturbance events can then be separated into ‘accreting’ disturbances, which increase nutrient availability in the ecosystem, versus ‘depleting’ disturbances, which decrease nutrient availability. Using ecosystem nitrogen stocks, the manuscript highlights the utility of the partitioning ratio as a conceptual framework for alterations in disturbance regimes, in process-based ecosystem models, and in published data of nutrient availability in US forest ecosystems. The authors highlight future areas of study, including quantifying the magnitude of accretion or depletion of nutrients by disturbance events, the effect of shifts in disturbance frequency on biogeochemical cycling, and long-term analysis of post-disturbance recovery trajectories.
Kranabetter, J. M., K. K. McLauchlan, S. K. Enders, J. M. Fraterrigo, P. E. Higuera, J. L. Morris, E. B. Rastetter, R. Barnes, B. Buma, D. G. Gavin, L. M. Gerhart, L. Gillson, P. Hietz, M. C. Mack, B. McNeil, and S. Perakis. 2015. A framework to assess biogeochemical response to ecosystem disturbance using nutrient partitioning ratios. Ecosystems. doi: 10.1007/s10021-015-9934-1