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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Nitrate Formation in Acid Forest Soils from the Adirondacks1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 47 No. 3, p. 506-508
    Received: June 8, 1982
    Accepted: Jan 17, 1982

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  1. Theodore M. Klein,
  2. Joseph P. Kreitinger and
  3. Martin Alexander2



Nitrate formation in three forest soils from the Adirondacks region of New York was studied in the laboratory. The organic and surface mineral layers of the soils had pH values ranging from 3.6 to 4.1. Nitrate was formed when the soils were treated with artificial rain at pH 3.5, 4.1, or 5.6. Compared to simulated rain at pH 5.6, simulated rain at pH 3.5 enhanced nitrate formation in one soil and inhibited it in two other soils. The rate of nitrate accumulation was about 10 times higher in the organic horizon than in the mineral horizon, and nitrate formation was not enhanced by ammonium additions. Nitrate formation in soil suspensions was dependent on the amount of soil in the suspension, and none was formed if little soil was present. Ammonium did not enhance nitrate production in the suspensions. It is suggested that nitrate formation in these acid soils is not limited by the ammonium supply.

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