Advertisement

Plant and Soil

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 365–378 | Cite as

Effects of artificial acid rain on decomposition of spruce needles and on mobilisation and leaching of elements

  • J. Hovland
  • G. Abrahamsen
  • G. Ogner
Article

Summary

Dry matter and chemical changes in decomposing spruce needles were investigated after 16 and 38 weeks in laboratory lysimeters treated with distilled water or distilled water acidified to pH 3 or 2 with sulphuric acid. The water was added twice weekly in quantities equal to 100 or 200 mm month−1. The CO2 evolution and leaching of P, K, Mg, Mn, and Ca was followed together with pH measurements of the leachate.

The loss of dry matter was approximately 25% during the first 16 weeks and approximately 37% after 38 weeks. At the first samling, 16 weeks, the amount of material decomposed was greater from the lysimeters given 100 mm month−1 of water. At this water quantity dilute sulphuric acid increased the decomposition. After 38 weeks sulphuric acid at pH 3 and 2 had decreased the decomposition at 200 mm month−1. However, the effects of acid application were small. The effect of treatment using acidified water on the content of monosaccharides was not consistent, whereas there was an indication of reduced decomposition of lignin when treated with 200 mm water month−1 at pH 3 and 2. Nitrogen was conserved in the lysimeters with small differences between the various treatments. The order of mobility of metal elements was K>Mg>Mn>Ca. Increasing the quantity of water increased the leaching of K especially, whereas addition of dilute sulphuric acid increased the leaching of Mg, Mn and particularly Ca. During the first 16 weeks of the experiment, sulphuric acid reduced the leaching of P while later on this treatment increased the leaching. The pH of the leachate from the lysimeters treated with distilled water was initially 4.0–4.6 increasing to approximately 6.6 after 22 weeks. The pH of the decomposed needle material was 4.6 and approximately 5.2 after 16 and 38 weeks respectively. When treated with water at pH 3 the pH of the leachate was between 4 and 5, and the pH of the needles 4.2–5.1. Treatment with water at pH 2 gave a leachate with pH just above 2 and decreased the pH of the needles that had received 200 mm ‘rain’ month−1 to 2.9.

The effect of the artificial acid rain appears to be more pronounced on the leaching of metal elements than on the biological activity and the dynamics of N and P. The treatments must be considered extreme when compared with the acidity of natural rain.

Key Words

Acid rain Calcium Decomposition Leaching Magnesium Manganese Mobilisation Nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium Spruce litter 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Abrahamsen, G., Bjor, K., Horntvedt, R. and Tveite, B. 1976 Effects of acid precipitation on coniferous forest.In Impact of acid precipitation on forest and freshwater ecosystems in Norway. Ed. F. H. Braekke. SNSF-project FR 6/76, Oslo-Aos, Norway, 33–63.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Adams, S. N. and Cornforth, I. S. 1973 Some short-term effects of lime and fertilizers on a Sitka spruce plantation. II. Laboratory studies on litter decomposition and nitrogen mineralization. Forestry46, 39–47.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Alexander, M. 1977 Introduction to Soil Microbiology. 2.ed. John Wiley & Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gosz, J. R., Likens, G. E. and Bormann, F. H. 1973. Nutrient release from decomposing leaf and branch litter in the Hubbard Brook Forest, New Hampshire. Ecol. Monogr.43, 173–191.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kyrklund, B. and Strandell, G. 1967 A modified chlorine number for evaluation of the cooking degree of high-yield pulps. Papper Trä49, 99–106.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kyrklund, B. and Strandell, G. 1969 Applicability of the chlorine number for evaluation of the lignin content of pulp Papper Trä51, 299–305.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lousier, J. D. and Parkinson, D. 1978 Chemical element dynamics in decomposing leaf litter. Can. J. Bot.56, 2795–2812.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Malmer, N. 1973 Om effekterna på vatten, mark och vegetation av ökad svaveltilförsel från atmosfären. En översikt från ekologiska utgångspunkter. Statens naturvårdsverk, SNV PM 402, Stockholm.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mikola, P. 1954 Experiments on the rate of decomposition of forest litter. Comm. Inst. For. Fenn43, (1), 1–50.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Millar, C. S. 1974 Decomposition of coniferous leaf litter.In Plant litter Decomposition Vol.1. Eds. C. H. Dickinson and G. J. F. Pugh. Academic Press, London, 105–128.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Mitchell, C. P. and Millar, C. S. 1978 Effect of lime and urea on decomposition of senescent Corsican pine needles colonized by Lophodermium pinastri. Trans. Br. Mycol. Soc.71, 375–381.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Nykvist, N. 1961 Leaching and decomposition of litter. IV. Experiments on needle litter of Picea abies. Oikos12, 264–279.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Oden, S. 1968 Nederbördens och luftens försurning—dess orsaker, förlopp och verkan i olika miljöer. Ecol. Comm. Bull. (Stockholm) No. 1, 87 p.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    O.E.C.D. 1977 The OECD programme on long range transport of air pollutants. Measurements and findings. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ogner, G., Haugen, A., Opem, M., Sjøtveit, G. and Sørlie, B. 1975 Kjemisk analyseprogram ved Norsk institutt for skogforskning. Meddr. Norsk inst. skogforsk.32, 207–232.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ogner, G., Haugen, A., Opem, M., Sjøtveit, G. and Sørlie, B. 1977. Kjemisk analyseprogram ved Norsk institutt for skogforskning. Supplement I. Meddr. Norsk inst. skogforsk.33, 87–101.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Schmidt, E. L. and Ruschmeyer, O. R. 1958. Cellulose decomposition in soil burial beds. I. Soil properties in relation to cellulose degradation. Appl. Microbiol.6, 108–114.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Staaf, H. and Berg, B. 1977 Mobilization of plant nutrients in a Scots pine forest mor in Central Sweden. Silva Fenn.11, 210–217.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Strouts, C. R. N., Gilfillan, J. H. and Wilson, H. N. 1955 The volumetric determination of alkoxyl groups. In Analytical Chemistry. Vol. 1. Clarendon Press, Oxford 416–423.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Tamm, C. O., Wiklander, G. and Popovic, B. 1977 Effects of application of sulphuric acid to poor pine forests. Water Air Soil Pollut.8, 75–87.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Theander, O. 1978 Leaf litter of some forest trees. Chemical composition and microbiological activity. Tappi61, 69–72.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    White, J. W., Holbech, F. J. andJeffries, C. D. 1949 Cellulose decomposing power in relation to reaction of soils. Soil Sci.68, 229–235.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Williams, S. T. and Gray, T. R. G. 1974 Decomposition of litter on the soil surface.In Plant Litter Decomposition Vol.2, Eds. C. H. Dickinson and G. J. F. Pugh. Academic Press, London, 611–632.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wood, T. and Bormann, F. H. 1975 Increases in foliar leaching caused by acidification of an artificial mist. Ambio4, 169–171.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Hovland
    • 1
  • G. Abrahamsen
    • 2
  • G. Ogner
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyAgricultural University of NorwayAos-NLHNorway
  2. 2.Norwegian Forest Research InstituteAos-NLHNorway

Personalised recommendations