The potential for calcium depletion in forest ecosystems of southeastern United States: Review and analysis

Global Biogeochemical Cycles



Biogeochemical mass balance assessments of calcium status in southeastern forests indicate that losses through harvesting and soil leaching often exceed inputs from atmospheric deposition and weathering. Many forest soils of the southeastern United States are particularly sensitive because these soils and the underlying saprolite from which these soils are derived are largely depleted of weatherable calcium. At most of the intensively studied sites in the southeastern United States, it is estimated that calcium depletion has already reduced or will likely reduce exchangeable soil calcium reserves to less than the estimated requirement for a merchantable forest stand in 150 years or less. At most sites, calcium uptake into merchantable wood equals or exceeds soil leaching losses. Chronic atmospheric deposition of sulfate and nitrate and declining atmospheric deposition of calcium are likely to accelerate calcium depletion. The southeastern U.S. regional distribution of soil calcium pools and calcium fluxes (deposition and uptake in merchantable wood) indicates that the depletion status of the intensively studied sites is representative of a substantially larger area. Where weathering inputs are insufficient to replace leaching and uptake losses, there is a potential for a regional problem in forest nutrition over the long term.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The potential for calcium depletion in forest ecosystems of southeastern United States: Review and analysis
Series title Global Biogeochemical Cycles
DOI 10.1029/1999GB001193
Volume 14
Issue 2
Year Published 2000
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) New England Water Science Center
Description 16 p.
First page 623
Last page 638
Country United States
State Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia
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