Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 251–261

Ion leaching from a sugar maple forest in response to acidic deposition and nitrification


  • N. W. Foster
    • Forestry Canada, Ontario RegionGreat Lakes Forestry Centre
  • P. W. Hazlett
    • Forestry Canada, Ontario RegionGreat Lakes Forestry Centre
  • J. A. Nicolson
    • Forestry Canada, Ontario RegionGreat Lakes Forestry Centre
  • I. K. Morrison
    • Forestry Canada, Ontario RegionGreat Lakes Forestry Centre

DOI: 10.1007/BF00282382

Cite this article as:
Foster, N.W., Hazlett, P.W., Nicolson, J.A. et al. Water Air Soil Pollut (1989) 48: 251. doi:10.1007/BF00282382


Year-to-year variation in acidic deposition within a mature sugar maple-dominated forest and in leaching of ions from the associated podzolic soil were examined at the Turkey Lakes Watershed between 1981 and 1986. Below-canopy inputs to the soil of SO42− and NO3 in throughfall averaged 640 and 295 eq. ha−1 yr−1; the corresponding ranges were 493–917 and 261–443 eq. ha−1 yr−1. The contribution of atmospheric deposition to SO42− NO3 and Ca2+ leaching decreased over the six years. During the study period, the mean annual volume-weighted NO3 concentration decreased in throughfall and forest-floor percolate and increased in the mineral-soil solution collected below the effective rooting zone. A substantial shift in the balance between SO42− and NO3leaching from the mineral soil was observed; leaching of SO42−decreased and NO3 leaching increased with time. Leaching of Ca2+ and Mg2+ from the soil was increased as a result of excess NO3 production in the soil. The calculated output of NO3 from the soil, which averaged 1505 eq. ha−1 yr−1, considerably exceeded the atmospheric deposition of NO3, whereas SO42− outputs were only moderately greater than inputs.

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989