Scientists at Cornell University have found that waterlogged patches of forests play an important role in the nitrogen cycle, according to a release. The patches help remove nitrogen from groundwater and return it to the atmosphere.
Researchers made the discovery in New Hampshire’s Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest by measuring the presence of nitrates. Doing so is important because nitrogen is the nutrient that most often limits rates of plant growth.
The experimental forest is part of the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Research program. As work there continues, scientists expect to learn more about nitrogen’s fate in forests.
Top image: Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire. (Credit: Virginia Tech)