The eddy correlation method has great potential for directly measuring trace gas fluxes at the floor of a forest canopy, but a thorough validation study has not been yet conducted. Another appeal of the eddy correlation method is its ability to study processes that regulate and modulate gas exchange between the soil/litter complex and the atmosphere that cannot be probed with chambers. In this paper we report on eddy correlation measurements of water vapor, sensible heat, and carbon dioxide exchange that were made at the floor of a deciduous forest. The validity of the eddy correlation method to measure the emission of water vapor and CO2 from a deciduous forest floor is demonstrated by our ability to close the surface energy budget during periods that meet the requirements of the technique. Water vapor fluxes from a dry forest floor are strongly influenced by large-scale turbulent events that penetrate deep into the canopy. The frequency of these turbulent events prevents equilibrium evaporation rates from being achieved because the dynamic time constant for water vapor exchange is longer. Consequently, maximal evaporation rates are capped to rates defined by the product of the driving potential of the atmosphere and the surface conductance. On the other hand, evaporation from a wet forest floor proceeds at rates reaching or exceeding equilibrium evaporation and are highly correlated with static pressure fluctuations. CO2 efflux rates are governed by litter and soil temperature, as expected. But we also find a significant correlation between static pressure fluctuations and soil/litter CO2 exchange rates.