Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 485–492

Effects of decaying wood on eluviation, podzolization, acidification, and nutrition in soils with different moisture regimes


  • G. J. Kayahara
    • Department of Forest SciencesUniversity of British Columbia
  • K. Klinka
    • Department of Forest SciencesUniversity of British Columbia
  • L. M. Lavkulich
    • Department of Soil ScienceUniversity of British Columbia
Soil Moisture Regime and Site Evaluation

DOI: 10.1007/BF00396163

Cite this article as:
Kayahara, G.J., Klinka, K. & Lavkulich, L.M. Environ Monit Assess (1996) 39: 485. doi:10.1007/BF00396163


One possible impact of large accumulations of decaying wood on forest sites is an increase in (1) eluviation, podzolization and acidification of, and (2) leaching and loss of nutrients from, the soil directly under decaying wood. As an exploratory investigation, we sampled soils beneath forest floors with and without large accumulations of decaying wood (lignic and algnic forest floors respectively) on three soil moisture regimes. Nine sites were located, three in each of central British Columbia, east Vancouver Island, and east of Vancouver. Among the moist sites, there were no differences in Ae horizon thickness between the alignic and lignic forest floors. However, the Ae horizon was thicker beneath the lignic forest floors (mean 4.2 cm) compared to the alignic forest floors (mean 0.7 cm) in slightly dry and fresh sites. Lignic and alignic forest floors differed (p<0.01) in pH, total C, total N, mineralizable N, available S, available P, extractable Mg, K and Ca, lipids, C in fraction B (soluble polysaccharide fraction), C in humic acid, C in fulvic acid, and polyphenol C in fulvic acid for all soil moisture regimes. There were no significant differences in the measures of nutrients or indicators of podzolization as measured by organically complexed Fe and Al, the total non-crystalline Fe and Al, and the poorly crystalline Fe and Al, in the underlying 10 cm of the Bf horizon between the two substrates regardless of the soil moisture regime. Further investigations are needed to establish the relationships between soil productivity and the observed soil chemical measures.

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996