The SPRUCE experimental infrastructure provides new opportunities for independently funded researchers to address their own science questions covering a variety of disciplines that are not represented by the core research group. To that end we encourage researchers from other agencies, laboratories and universities to consider how they might be able to use SPRUCE or associated footprints within the Marcell Experimental Forest to advance our understanding of boreal ecosystem structure and function, and organism vulnerability associated with environmental and climate change.

A SPRUCE coordinating panel for vetting new research ideas (e.g., the SPRUCE Research Managers and the Technical Task leads with external input as needed or provided through DOE review) are queried periodically to assess collaborator research ideas. This "panel" serves as the decision-making body for major operational considerations throughout the duration of the SPRUCE experimental activity and evaluates task overlap, appropriateness, and the availability of space within SPRUCE needed for proposed research activities. New collaborators would normally be expected to find funding for their own research activities. Local logistical support and participation of SPRUCE project staff in sampling or the selection of sites within and around the experimental plots would be expected.

All collaborators must agree to abide by the SPRUCE data policy, experimental protocols, and the safety rules established by ORNL and the USDA Forest Service.

SPRUCE Calendar for Participants


  1. The response of soil carbon storage and microbially mediated carbon turnover to simulated climatic disturbance in a northern peatland forest: revisiting the concept of soil organic matter recalcitrance. Principal Investigators: Joel E. Kostka, Georgia Institute of Technology & Jeff Chanton, Florida State University (2012-2013)
  2. Understanding the mechanisms underlying heterotrophic CO2 and CH4 fluxes in a peatland with deep soil warming and atmospheric CO2 enrichment.Principal Investigators: Scott D. Bridgham, University of Oregon & Jason Keller, Chapman University (2015 renewal final)
  3. Mercury and sulfur dynamics in the spruce experiment. Principal Investigators: Brandy Toner and Ed Nater, University of Minnesota & Randy Kolka and Steve Sebestyen, USDA Forest Service MN (2103 to present)
  4. Improving models to predict phenological responses to global change. Principal Investigator: Andrew D. Richardson, Harvard University (2013 to present) 
  5. Lichen community responses to warming. Principal Investigators: Bruce McCune, Oregon State University, Sarah Jovan, USDA Forest Service OR (2013 to present) 
  6. Fungal, bacterial, and archaeal communities mediating C cycling and trace gas flux in peatland ecosystems subject to climate change. Principal Investigator: Erik Lilleskov, USDA Forest Service with Joint Genome Institute Support (2013 to present) 
  7. Toward a predictive understanding of the response of belowground microbial carbon turnover to climate change drivers in a boreal peatland. Principal Investigators: Joel E. Kostka Georgia Institute of Technology & Jeffrey P. Chanton, William T. Cooper Florida State University (2014 to present) 
  8. Can microbial ecology inform ecosystem level c-n cycling response to climate change? Principal Investigators: Kirsten Hofmockel, Iowa State University & Erik Hobbie, University of New Hampshire (2014 to present) 
  9. Peatland Mercury Cycling in a Changing Climate: A Large-Scale Field Manipulation Study. Principal Investigator: Carl Mitchell, University of Toronto - Scarborough (2014-present) 
  10. Effects of experimental warming & elevated CO2 on trace gas emissions from a northern Minnesota black spruce peatland: measurement and modeling.Principal Investigator: Adrien Finzi, Boston University (2014-present) 
    Summary TBD
  11. Functioning of wetlands as a source of atmospheric methane: a multi-scale and multi-disciplinary approach. Principal Investigator: Karis McFarlane and Xavier Mayali, Mike Singleton, Ate Visser, Jennifer Pett-Ridge, Brad Esser, Tom Guilderson Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (2014-present) 
  12. Using microbial enzyme decomposition models to study the effects of peat warming and/or CO2 enrichment on peatland decomposition. Principal Investigator: Brian H. Hill and Colleen M. Elonen, Terri M. Jicha, Mary F. Moffett US Environmental Protection Agency (2014-present) 
    Summary TBD
  13. The role of the Sphagnum microbiome in carbon and nutrient cycling in peatlands - JGI's Community Science Program. Principal Investigators: Joel E. Kostka and Gen Glass Georgia Institute of Technology, David Weston Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Erik Lilleskov USDA Forest Service – Houghton, MI, Jon Shaw Duke University, and Susannah Tringe at the Joint Genome Institute. (2015-present) 
    Summary TBD
  14. Soil fauna biodiversity sampling at SPRUCE. Principal Investigator: Zoë Lindo University of Western Ontario. (starting in 2015) 
  15. Monitoring warming and elevated CO2 induced changes in photosynthetic efficiency via canopy spectral reflectance. Principal Investigators: Michael J. Falkowski University of Minnesota, Evan Kane Michigan Technological University, Brian Benscoter Florida Atlantic University, & Randy Kolka US Forest Service. (Starting in 2015?) 
  16. Wood decomposition rates and functional types in a shifting climate. Principal Investigators: Jonathan Schilling and Jason Oliver, University of Minnesota, Randy Kolka, United States Forest Service (starting in 2015) 
  17. Microbial growth and carbon and nutrient use partitioning under peatland warming and elevated CO2. Principal Investigators: Jessica Gutknecht, University of Minnesota (2014-present using startup funds, with an intention to receive extramural funding soon). 
  18. Modeling porewater stable carbon isotopes of CH4 and CO2 to estimate in situ microbial rates. Principal Invesitagor:  Rebecca Neumann, Univeristy of Washington. (2015-present).
  19. SPRUCE Plot-scale Terrestrial LIDAR applications.  Principal Investigator: Nancy Glenn, Boise State University. (2015 to pesent funded under subcontract to the SPRUCE project).
  20. Linking experiments with models.  Principal Investigator:  Yiqi Luo, University of Oklahoma. (2015-present funded under subcontract to the SPRUCE Project). 
  21. Quantification of aqueous Fe(II)/Fe(III) fluxes from SPRUCE treatment plots. Principal investigator:  Steven Hall, Iowa State University.  (2016-present)
  22. Mechanistic modeling of methane cycle at SPRUCE. Principal Investigator: Xiaofeng Xu, San Diego State University. (2014-present) 

Acknowledgment of work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science

SPRUCE Project Authorship and Acknowledgement Guidance

Authorship and Acknowledgement Guidance

Public Access to the Results of DOE-Funded Scientific Research

Public Access Plan

Statement on Digital Data Management

SPRUCE Research Safety Summary:

Important Note:
This copy of the SPRUCE Research Safety Summary (RSS) was downloaded from ORNL Research Hazard Analysis and Control System (RHACS) on August 16, 2016 and is provided as an information only copy .

• This copy is provided on the SPRUCE website for the convenience of non-ORNL collaborating participants who do not have access to the internal ORNL RHACS system and are unable to read the RSS and follow all of the embedded links.
• Embedded links are unavailable outside of the RHACS system.
• Forest Service JHAs (ORNL annotated) attachments to the RSS are also provided as information only copies.
• Non-ORNL collaborators may read these selected documents for background information but the official copy is maintained as a hardcopy document at the SPRUCE Office in Grand Rapids.
• Non-ORNL collaborators must read this hardcopy version and sign the appropriate acknowledgement form which will be maintained as an official SPRUCE record.
• If you have any questions about accessing the RSS and attachments, please use the CONTACT US link.

SPRUCE Research Safety Summary

Current Research Safety Summary

Forest Service Job Hazards Analyses (JHAs) Attachments (ORNL annotated)








Soil_Sampling_RHACS_Attachment (June 2014)



QEA_Final_RHACS_Attachment (June 2014)

Work-Aid for Use of the Picarro Instrument at the SPRUCE Site (June 2014)

Work-Aid for Use of Articulated Ladders in Enclosures at the SPRUCE Site (June 2015)

Work-Aid for Extension Ladder Use Within SPRUCE Enclosures at the SPRUCE Site (July 2015)

Li-7500_Calibration_procedure (June 2015)

Pre-Job Safety Briefing Checklist (March 2015)

RHACS_Attachment_Kneeler_Photo_1.jpg (August 2016)

RHACS_Attachment_Kneeler_Photo_2.jpg (August 2016)

RHACS_Attachment_SPRUCE_Enclosure_Platform_Photo.jpg (August 2016)