We propose to develop and understand relationships between transient land cover alterations/disturbances and measurements of surface water quality. The research will integrate study of landscape dynamics (using remote sensing), surface water dissolved N concentrations, and ecosystem processes within forests (plot level analyses). We will experimentally determine whether small forest plots (fine scale), first-order forested subwatersheds (watershed scale), and larger predominantly-forested watersheds (landscape scale) within the three study areas affected by a variety of types of natural and human-induced forest disturbances are characterized by higher soil-water nitrate-N concentrations, nitrate-N leaching rates, and surface water nitrate-N concentrations than comparable undisturbed systems. Using estimates of forest disturbance derived from satellite-based remote imagery, we will also determine whether nitrate-concentrations in soil water and surface water vary as linear functions of the magnitude (intensity, frequency, and extensity) and direction of disturbance at three different spatial scales (plot, watershed, and landscape). Finally, by studying disturbance effects in a group of small forested watersheds that was last disturbed more than a decade ago, we will attempt to quantify a disturbance legacy in the form of elevated nitrate-concentrations in soil and surface waters, as well as changes in species composition.