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Brian Strahm

Associate Professor of Forest Soils and Ecology

BS, Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1998); PhD, Forest Resources, University of Washington (2006)


Interest Areas: forest soils, ecological restoration, carbon and nutrient cycling, biogeochemistry, ecosystem ecology, reforestation, soil-plant-atmosphere interactions, sustainability, chemistry of soil interfaces, effects of land use and global change on soil properties, processes, and function.

Teaching Responsibilities
  • FOR 4354/5354G:  FOREST SOILS AND HYDROLOGY
  • FOR 5354:  ADVANCED FOREST SOILS
Selected Research Activities
  • N Use Efficiency and Ecosystem N Retention. 
    Using stable isotopically labeled additions to understand the fate of applied fertilizer N across the range of loblolly pine in the South and Douglas-fir in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Soil Mediation of Global Change Effects on Watershed N Export. 
    Evaluating the relative contributions of biotic and abiotic mechanisms to ecosystem N retention under differing atmospheric N deposition at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory.
  • Soil Biogeochemistry in Pine-Switchgrass Agroforestry Ecosystems. 
    Investigating the linked cycles of C, nutrients and water in a loblolly pine-switchgrass intercropping system designed to simultaneously maximize productivity for biofuels and forest products.
  • Restoring Ecological Function to Reforested Mined Lands. 
    Investigating the restoration of ecological function (carbon and nutrient cycling dynamics) in forest ecosystems following different mined land reclamation practices at Virginia Tech’s Powell River Project.
  • Nitrate Sorption as a Mechanism to Buffer Watershed N Export. 
    Evaluating the potential for abiotic mechanisms in acid forest soils to contribute to the retention/increased residence time of N in forested watersheds at the Fernow Experimental Forest.
Selected Publications
  • Footen, P.W., R.B. Harrison, and B.D. Strahm.  2009.  Long-term effects of nitrogen fertilization on the productivity of subsequent stands of Douglas-fir in the Pacific Northwest.  For. Ecol. Manage.  258:2194–2198.
  • Strahm, B.D., R.B. Harrison, T.A. Terry, and T.B. Harrington, A.B. Adams, and P.W. Footen.  2009.  Changes in dissolved organic matter with depth suggest the potential for postharvest organic matter retention to increase subsurface soil carbon pools.  For. Ecol. Manage. 258:2347-2352.
  • Harrison, R.B., T.A. Terry, C.W. Licata, B.L. Flaming, R. Meade, I.A. Guerrini, B.D. Strahm, D. Xue, A.B. Adams, M.R. Lolley, A. Sidell, G.L. Wagoner, D. Briggs, and E.C. Turnblom.  2009.  Biomass and stand characteristics of a highly productive mixed Douglas-fir and western hemlock plantation in coastal Washington.  West. J. Appl. For.  24:180-186.
  • Slesak, R.A., S.H. Schoenholtz, T.B. Harrington, and B.D. Strahm.  2009.  Dissolved carbon and nitrogen leaching following logging-debris retention and competing-vegetation control in Douglas-fir plantations of western Oregon and Washington.  Can. J. For. Res.  39:1484-1497.
  • Strahm, B.D., and R.B. Harrison.  2008.  Controls on the sorption, desorption and mineralization of low-molecular-weight organic acids in variable-charge soils.  Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J.  72:1653-1664.
  • Flint, C.M., R.B. Harrison, B.D. Strahm, and A.B. Adams.  2008.  Nitrogen leaching from Douglas-fir forests after urea fertilization.  J. Envir. Qual.  37:1781-1788.
  • Strahm, B.D., and R.B. Harrison.  2007.  Mineral and organic matter controls on the sorption of macronutrient anions in variable-charge soils.  Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J.  71:1926-1933.
  • Remington, S.M., B.D. Strahm, V. Neu, J.E. Richey, and H. Brandão da Cunha.  2007. The role of sorption in control of riverine dissolved organic carbon concentrations by riparian zone soils in the Amazon Basin.  Soil Sci.  172:279-291.
  • Strahm, B.D., and R.B. Harrison.  2006.  Nitrate sorption in a variable-charge forest soil of the Pacific Northwest.  Soil Sci.  171:313-321.
  • Adams, A.B., R.B. Harrison, R.S. Sletten, B.D. Strahm, E.C. Turnblom, and C.M. Jensen.  2005.  Nitrogen-fertilization impacts on carbon sequestration and flux in managed coastal Douglas-fir stands of the Pacific Northwest.  For. Ecol. Manage.  220:313-325.
  • Strahm, B.D., R.B. Harrison, B.L. Flaming, T.A. Terry, C.W. Licata, and K.S. Petersen.  2005.  Soil solution nitrogen concentrations and leaching rates as influenced by organic matter retention on a highly productive Douglas-fir site.  For. Ecol. Manage.  218:74-88.
Current Professional Associations
  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Society of Mining and Reclamation
  • Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative
  • Soil Science Society of America
  • Virginia Forestry Association
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