The Forest Accelerated Succession Experiment/ Forests in Transition experiments (FASET/FIT) is an ecosystem-level experimental manipulation designed to accelerate the successional transition from an even-aged, aspen-dominated forest to an uneven-aged mixed deciduous-conifer forest and to continue the operation of the existing UMBS~flux AmeriFlux site. The FASET manipulation is coupled to a 15N stable isotope labeling study of nitrogen cycling for the Forests in Transition project (FIT). Our objectives strengthen our empirical understanding of spatial and temporal variability in CO2 sources and sinks for northern hardwood temperate forests. Our core objectives were to:
1. Quantify C exchange processes during and after ecological succession from a mature aspen to a young mixed confer/deciduous forest.
2. Investigate the interactive role of disturbance and succession in governing landscape-level variability in C storage.
3. Continue measurements of mass and energy exchange over a maturing aspen-dominated hardwood forest, building on more than eight years of continuous forest C cycle studies.
4. Describe the structural and biogeochemical mechanisms promoting resilience of coupled C and N cycling through disturbance, reorganization, and succession phases of ecosystem development;
5. Continue advances in stable isotope and trace gas methods for understanding changes in soil N cycling and ecosystem distribution;
6. Engage with students and land managers to foster broader involvement and understanding of this science, and translate it into informed decisions about public and private land management.