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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Ecosystem Restoration

Leaching from Organic Matter–Rich Soils by Rain of Different Qualities


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 31 No. 2, p. 547-556
    Received: Mar 12, 2001

    * Corresponding author(s): line.strand@ijvf.nlh.no
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  1. L. T. Strand *,
  2. G. Abrahamsen and
  3. A. O. Stuanes
  1. Agricultural University of Norway, Department of Soil and Water Sciences, P.O. Box 5028, N-1430 Ås, Norway


Soil monoliths from an area exposed to acid precipitation and from an unpolluted area were used in a lysimeter experiment to study effects of different rain qualities on the chemical composition of the leachate from shallow soils rich in organic matter. The vegetation was either dominated by moorgrass [Molinia caerulea (L.) Moench] or heather [Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull]. The lysimeters received either “acid rain” (pH 4.3) or “normal rain” (pH 5.3). High concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) were characteristic of the leachate. The different “rain” qualities had no significant influence on the DOC concentration. More DOC was, however, leached from lysimeters with heather vegetation. Roughly 50% of the aluminum (Al) was in complex with organic material and the Al charge was calculated to be between +1.4 and +2.0. Sulfate (SO2− 4) was the only component that was significantly influenced by the treatment, as more was leached from lysimeters receiving “acid rain.” Sulfate was poorly correlated with pH, suggesting that reduced SO2− 4 input would not necessarily lead to reduced acidity. Differences in the pH of the leachate due to the treatments were less than 0.15 pH units. Nitrate (NO 3) was only leached in very low concentrations and of little consequence for the leachate acidity. Some observations do, however, suggest that NO 3 may contribute to acidification in episodes with high precipitation. High concentrations of Cl in the leachate and a significant positive correlation between Cl, H+, and base cations indicate that sea salt episodes may be important for soil acidification and acidity of the leachate.

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Copyright © 2002. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.31:547–556.