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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 46 No. 1, p. 137-141
    Received: Oct 14, 1980
    Accepted: Sept 1, 1981

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Acid Precipitation and Ionic Movements in Adirondack Forest Soils1

  1. A. V. Mollitor and
  2. D. J. Raynal2



To examine potential effects of acid precipitation on forest soils in a hardwood and in a coniferous stand in the central Adirondacks of New York State, solution chemistry was studied in five strata of these ecosystems. Bulk precipitation, throughfall, and soil leachates were sampled and analyzed for pH, NO3, SO4, K, Ca, Mg, and Na. A subset of the samples were analyzed for Al. Organic anion concentrations were estimated from ionic charge balances. Concentrations of NO3, H, and K in B horizon leachates were not significantly different than precipitation concentrations, while concentrations of SO4, Ca, Mg, and Na in water leaving the sola were significantly greater than precipitation concentrations. Patterns of movement for most ions were similar for both study sites, but concentrations were generally greater in the conifer system. Cation leaching from the hardwood site appears about equally influenced by SO4 and organic anion leaching. Sulfate and organic anion concentrations were greater in the conifer site but organic anion leaching dominated. Sulfate appears highly mobile in these soils. Chronic leaching by H2SO4 combined with internally generated organic acids may represent a threat to the nutrient status of many Adirondack forest soils.

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