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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Dissolved Organic Carbon In Northern Hardwood Stands With Differing Acidic Inputs and Temperature Regimes


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 24 No. 5, p. 927-933
    Received: July 20, 1994

    * Corresponding author(s): fwswa/s=h.liechty/ou1=s29104a@mhs.attmail.com
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  1. Hal O. Liechty *,
  2. Eimar Kuuseoks and
  3. Glenn D. Mroz
  1. School of Forestry and Wood Products, Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, MI 49916 (currently Center for Forested Wetlands Res., USDA-Forest Service Southern Exp. Stn., 2730 Savannah Hwy., Charleston, SC 29414);
    Dep. of Forest Resources, Univ. of Minnesota, Houghton, MI 49916;
    School of Forestry and Wood Products, Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, MI 49916.



We monitored concentrations and fluxes of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in throughfall and forest floor solutions in two northern hardwood stands located at the northern and southern end of a latitudinal acidic deposition and air temperature gradient in the Great Lakes Region to determine if DOC levels are altered by regional and temporal variation in acidic inputs and temperature. Amounts of precipitation received at the two sites were similar, but precipitation pH and air temperature, respectively, averaged 4.83 and 13.9°C at the northern gradient site and 4.29 and 15.1°C at the southern gradient site. Volume weighted DOC concentrations in throughfall were significantly greater at the northern (20.5 mg L−1) than the southern (15.9 mg L−1) site, but these differences in DOC levels were caused by the differing amounts of throughfall passing through the canopy of the two sites rather than levels of precipitation acidity or air temperature. Temporal variation in the levels of DOC in throughfall was not related to the variation in either precipitation acidity or air temperature. Like throughfall, levels of DOC in forest floor solutions were not found to be altered by acidic inputs. However, DOC in these solutions increased with seasonal increases in soil temperature. A regression equation relating seasonal variation in soil temperature and forest floor concentrations of DOC estimated that an observed 2.1°C difference in soil temperature at the two sites during the growing season could represent as much as 3.7 mg L−1 difference in forest floor solution concentrations of DOC.

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