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The ARC LTER uses plastic-covered greenhouses, shade frames, and fertilizer addition in long-term manipulations of tundra ecosystems. Effects of N fertilizers are shown in the middle ground of this photo, where the vegetation is taller, denser, more productive, less species rich, and dominated by the deciduous dwarf shrub Betula nana.
After 20 years of fertilizer addition at Toolik Lake, the C and N content of both plants and the upper soil horizons had doubled while C and N stocks in lower soil horizons had decreased. Losses in deeper soil were greater so whole system C and N stocks decreased