The Bear Brook Watershed in Maine: Multi-Decadal Whole-Watershed Experimental Acidification
The Bear Brook Watershed in Maine (BBWM) is a long-term research site established to study the response of forest ecosystem function to environmental disturbances of chronic acidic deposition and ecosystem nitrogen enrichment. Starting in 1989, the West Bear (treated) watershed received bimonthly applications of ammonium sulfate [(NH4)2SO4] fertilizer from above the canopy, whereas East Bear (reference) received ambient deposition. The treatments were stopped in 2016, marking the beginning of the recovery phase. Research at the site has focused on soils, streams, and vegetation. Here, we describe data collected over three decades at the BBWM—input and stream output nutrient fluxes, quantitative soil pits and soil chemistry, and soil temperature and moisture.