THE ENDLESS CHAIN OF NATURE: Experiment at Hubbard Brook by Patricia Patterson Sturges

THE ENDLESS CHAIN OF NATURE: Experiment at Hubbard Brook

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The author surveys an immensely ambitious and intricate project going on at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire's White Mountains where teams of scientists have undertaken a total study of an ecosystem; they are measuring and evaluating the web of interrelationships among flora, fauna, water, and weather in a three-by-five mile area of forest and brooks. Sturges outlines the experiments of researchers clear-cutting the woods and monitoring water input and outgo, as well as the work of specialists in plants, fish, amphibians, insects, birds, small mammals, and geologic strata. The project's aim is to aid in predicting the impact of man-made or natural changes in a specific environment: ""what will happen when a forest is cut, a dam is built, or a pasture sprayed with insecticide."" For example, air pollution was found to be evident even in a removed area (some storms measured as acid as vinegar); clear-cutting caused a dramatic loss of nutrients for the whole space involved. This does not have the wit and warmth of Michael Harwood's View from Great Gull (p. 439) but as a review of valuable ecological research it is soundly informational.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1976
Publisher: Westminster