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Forest Soils on Acid

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Forest Soils on Acid

Forest ecosystems are important both ecologically and economically. It is arguable that the most fundamental dynamic of the forest ecosystem is the forest soil. The acidity of forest soils can alter the chemistry, biota, and hydraulics of the soil, and thus, alter the soil formation characteristics and the soil composition. It follows that the acidification of forest soils demands a great deal of research and attention.

Forest soils are commonly found to have pH readings of 4-6, even in areas of moderate to low acid deposition (Binkley et al, p. 4). In fact, an abundance of forest vegetation thrives on and stabilizes most forest soils at relatively low pH levels. It seems as though forest ecosystems generally thrive upon strongly acid soils. Though forest soils naturally are acidic, problems can occur when the acidity levels are raised artificially through processes such as acid rain. This paper will investigate the effects of higher than normal acidity and acid deposition in forest soils to gain a greater understanding of current and potential problems to...


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...acid rain. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 61: pp. 209-220.

Sharpe, W.E., B.R. Swistock, and D.R. Dewalle. 1992. A greenhouse study of northern red oak seedling growth on two forest soils at different stages of acidification. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 66: pp. 121-133.

Singer, M.J., and D.N. Munns. 1996. Soils: An Introduction. Prentice-Hall, Inc. New Jersey.

Tamm, C.O., and L. Hallbacken. 1986. Changes in soil pH over a 50-year period under different forest canopies in SW Sweden. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 31: pp. 337 341.

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