Barrier Island Forest Ecosystem: Role of Meteorologic Nutrient Inputs

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  05 Apr 1974:
Vol. 184, Issue 4132, pp. 60-62
DOI: 10.1126/science.184.4132.60


The Sunken Forest, located on Fire Island, a barrier island in the Atlantic Ocean off Long Island, New York, is an ecosystem in which most of the basic cation input is in the form of salt spray. This meteorologic input is sufficient to compensate for the lack of certain nutrients in the highly weathered sandy soils. In other ecosystems these nutrients are generally supplied by weathering of soil particles. The compensatory effect of meteorologic input allows for primary production rates in the Sunken Forest similar to those of inland temperate forests.