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Early indications of soil recovery from acidic deposition in U.S. red spruce forests

Soil Science Society of America Journal

By:
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DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2011.0415

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Abstract

Forty to fifty percent decreases in acidic deposition through the 1980s and 1990s led to partial recovery of acidified surface waters in the northeastern United States; however, the limited number of studies that have assessed soil change found increased soil acidification during this period. From existing data, it's not clear whether soils continued to worsen in the 1990s or if recovery had begun. To evaluate possible changes in soils through the 1990s, soils in six red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) stands in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, first sampled in 1992 to 1993, were resampled in 2003 to 2004. The Oa-horizon pH increased (P < 0.01) at three sites, was marginally higher (P < 0.1) at one site, and lower (P < 0.05) at the New York site. Total C concentrations in Oa horizons decreased (P < 0.05) at sites where the pH increased, but the cause is uncertain. Exchangeable Al concentrations in Oa horizons decreased (P < 0.05) 20 to 40% at all sites except New York, which showed no change. The Al decrease can be attributed to decreased deposition of SO42−, which decreased the mobility of Al throughout the upper soil profile. Results indicate a nascent recovery driven largely by vegetation processes.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Early indications of soil recovery from acidic deposition in U.S. red spruce forests
Series title:
Soil Science Society of America Journal
DOI:
10.2136/sssaj2011.0415
Volume
76
Issue:
4
Year Published:
2012
Language:
English
Publisher:
Soil Science Society of America
Contributing office(s):
New York Water Science Center
Description:
11 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
1407
Last page:
1417
Country:
United States