Contributions of acid deposition and natural processes to cation leaching from forest soils: a review


Journal Article

Methods of quantifying the roles of atmospheric acid inputs and internal acid generation by carbonic, organic, and nitric acids are illustrated by reviewing data sets from several intensively studied sites in North America. Some of the sites (tropical, temperate deciduous, and temperate coniferous) received acid precipitation whereas others (northern and subalpine) did not. Natural leaching by carbonic acid dominated soil leaching in the tropical and temperate coniferous sites, nitric acid (caused by nitrification) dominated leaching In an N-fixing temperate deciduous site, and organic acids dominated surface soil leaching in the subalpine site and contributed to leaching of surface soils in several other sites. Only at the temperate deciduous sites did atmospheric acid input play a major role in soil leaching. In no case, however, are the annual net losses of cations regarded as alarming as compared to soil exchangeable cation capital. These results were used to illustrate the methods of quantifying the effects of atmospheric inputs and internal processes on soil leaching rates, not to draw broad generalizations as to acid rain effects on soils. However, there are predictable patterns in natural soil leaching processes which relate to climate, soil properties, and vegetation that may help in predicting the relative importances of natural vs. atmospheric acid inputs to soil leaching. © 1983 Air & Waste Management Association.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Johnson, DW; Richter, DD; Miegroet, HV; Cole, DW

Published Date

  • January 1, 1983

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 1036 - 1041

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-2470

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/00022470.1983.10465688

Citation Source

  • Scopus