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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Response of Spruce and Birch Foliage to Leaching by Acidic Mists1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 12 No. 2, p. 189-195
    Received: Feb 18, 1981

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  1. Timothy Scherbatskoy and
  2. Richard M. Klein2



Seedlings of yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis Britt.) and white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) were exposed to mists consisting of distilled water at pH 5.7, or sulfuric acid in distilled water at pH 4.3 or 2.8. Misting treatments, 4 h each, were applied once, twice, or three times, separated by 72 h. Leaf tissue chlorophyll concentrations were determined, and foliar leachate was analyzed for K+, Ca2+, NO3, H2PO4, total carbohydrate, total protein, and total amino acids. Decreased leaching of carbohydrate, protein, K+, and H2PO4 occurred with increasing number of mistings, indicating that these substances were not readily resupplied to leaching sites. Protein leaching was reduced by misting at pH 2.8. Leaching of amino acids, K+, and Ca2+ increased with decreasing mist pH, and leachate pH was higher than the pH of applied mists, suggesting that cation exchange plays a role in foliar leaching by acidic solutions. Amino acid leaching from birch increased with increasing number of mistings at pH 2.8. There was no strong effect on chlorophyll concentrations, and leaching of NO3 and H2PO4 did not vary with mist pH.

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