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Plant and Soil

, Volume 74, Issue 1, pp 125–129 | Cite as

Effects of simulated acid rain on germination and early growth of Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine

  • John G. McColl
  • Robert Johnson
Short Communications

Summary

Germination percentage of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) was reduced by 30% by severe acid-rain treatment (pH 2.0), and seedlings that germinated at pH 2.0 soon died from fungal attack. Less acidic treatments did not affect germination.

Two-year-old seedlings of Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) planted in native granitic soil and sprayed for 12 weeks with acid (2∶3, sulfuric: nitric) at pH 5.6, 4.0, 3.0 and 2.0, also showed little effects except at pH 2.0. There were no significant differences (atp<0.05) between acid treatments for length and for dry weight of needles that developed during acid treatment. However, at pH 2.0, needles exhibited white acid burns, brown tips, and seedlings became limp and wilted; symptoms worsened with duration of treatment. Both new and old needles eventually died at pH 2.0. Implications of this study are discussed.

Key words

Acid rain California Conifers Douglas-fir Forest soil Germination Ponderosa pine 

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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W. Junk Publishers 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • John G. McColl
    • 1
  • Robert Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant and Soil BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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