Gene E. Likens

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies


Election Year: 1981
Primary Section: 63, Environmental Sciences and Ecology
Secondary Section: 27, Evolutionary Biology
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

My research interests are focused on long-term, multidisciplinary studies of forest, stream, and lake ecosystems in the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The objectives are to evaluate energy flow and biogeochemical fluxes for northern hardwood forest ecosystems, stream ecosystems, and for a small lake. These studies, done in cooperation with students and colleagues from Cornell University, Yale University, Dartmouth College, USDA Forest Service, Syracuse University, USDI Geological Survey, and others, are designed to delineate the biological, physical, and chemical parameters, and to assess the biological implications of human alterations of these ecosystems (e.g., by clearcutting, fertilization, or acid rain). Experimental manipulations of entire ecosystems are used to evaluate these questions. Limnological investigations evaluate the effect of forests clearing, construction of an interstate highway, and housing developments in the lake's watershed. I also study effects of acid rain on natural ecosystems, evaluating the effect of human activities on historical changes in precipitation chemistry, the chemistry of precipitation in remote regions of the Southern Hemisphere, the chemistry of cloud water, and the ecology and biogeochemistry of aquatic ecosystems.

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