Transport of metal cations through a nutrient-poor forest ecosystem
Metal cations were analyzed in bulk precipitation, soil water, and stream flow in a southeastern U.S. lower Coastal Plain pine flatwoods for 6 yr. Extractable ions in mineral soil and total amounts in herbaceous vegetation were also determined. Concentrations for all ions were higher in soil water than in bulk precipitation, but especially Na+ and Mg++. There were smaller concentration differences between soil water and stream flow, except for three-fold higher Ca++ in stream flow. Base saturation in the mineral soil was less than 10%, with Al dominating cation exchange sites. Of all cations, only K showed a significant relationship between exchangeable amounts in the soil and total amounts in herb layer vegetation. Soils in the watershed-ecosystem are experiencing minimal mineral weathering, although this can be spatially quite variable. We conclude that the chemistry of such soils is susceptible to change over several forest harvest rotations and continued acid deposition. © 1991 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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