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Tree species (Picea abies and Fagus sylvatica) effects on soil water acidification and aluminium chemistry at sites subjected to long-term acidification in the Ore Mts., Czech Republic.

1 ,

Journal of inorganic biochemistry

Elsevier BV

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      The effect of European beech (Fagus sylvatica) and Norway spruce (Picea abies) on acid deposition and soil water chemistry was studied at a site in the Ore Mts., Czech Republic, that has been subjected to decades of elevated acidic deposition. Dry deposition onto the spruce canopy significantly increased acid input to the soil in comparison to the beech canopy. As a result soil waters were more acidic; Al, SO4(2-), and NO3- concentrations were significantly higher; and Ca and K concentrations were lower in the spruce stand than in the beech stand. The concentrations of potentially toxic inorganic aluminium (Al(in)) were, on average, three times higher in the spruce stand than in the beech stand. Thus, Al played a major role in neutralizing acid inputs to mineral soils in the spruce stand. Despite the higher dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations in spruce organic soil solutions, organic Al (Al(org)) accounted for only 30% of total Al (Al(tot)), whereas in beech organic soil solutions Al(org) was 60% of Al(tot). Soil waters in the beech stand exhibited Al(in) concentrations close to solubility with jurbanite (Al(SO4)OH.5H2O). The more acidic soil waters in the spruce stand were oversaturated with respect to jurbanite. The Bc/Al(in) ratio (Bc = Ca + Mg + K) in O horizon leachate was 4.6 and 70 in spruce and beech stands, respectively. In beech mineral soil solutions, the Bc/Al(in) ratio declined significantly to about 2. In the spruce stand, mineral soil solutions had Bc/Al(in) values below the critical value of 1. The observed Bc/Al(in) value of 0.4 at 30 cm depth in the spruce stand suggests significant stress for spruce rooting systems. A more favourable value of 31 was observed for the same depth in the beech stand. The efficiency of the spruce canopy in capturing acidic aerosols, particulates, and cloud water has resulted in the long-term degradation of underlying soils as a medium for sustainable forest growth.

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      Author and article information

      [1 ] Czech Geological Survey, Department of Environmental Geochemistry and Biogeochemistry, Klarov 3, 118 21 Prague, Czech Republic.
      J. Inorg. Biochem.
      Journal of inorganic biochemistry
      Elsevier BV
      Sep 2005
      : 99
      : 9
      16054698 S0162-0134(05)00173-X 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2005.06.008


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