Biogeochemistry

, Volume 87, Issue 3, pp 287–296 | Cite as

Use of foliar Ca/Sr discrimination and 87Sr/86Sr ratios to determine soil Ca sources to sugar maple foliage in a northern hardwood forest

  • Joel D. Blum
  • Amanda A. Dasch
  • Steven P. Hamburg
  • Ruth D. Yanai
  • Mary A. Arthur
Synthesis and Emerging Ideas

Abstract

Calcium/strontium and 87Sr/86Sr ratios in foliage can be used to determine the relative importance of different soil sources of Ca to vegetation, if the discrimination of Ca/Sr by the plant between nutrient sources and foliage is known. We compared these tracers in the foliage of sugar maple (Acer saccharum) to the exchange fraction and acid leaches of soil horizons at six study sites in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, USA. In a previous study, sugar maple was shown to discriminate for Ca compared to Sr in foliage formation by a factor of 1.14 ± 0.12. After accounting for the predicted 14% shift in Ca/Sr, foliar Ca/Sr and 87Sr/86Sr ratios closely match the values in the Oie horizon at each study site across a 3.6-fold variation in foliar Ca/Sr ratios. Newly weathered cations, for which the Ca/Sr and 87Sr/86Sr ratios are estimated from acid leaches of soils, can be ruled out as a major Ca source to current foliage. Within sites, the 87Sr/86Sr ratio of the soil exchange pool in the Oa horizon and in the 0–10 cm and 10–20 cm increments of the mineral soil are similar to the Oie horizon and sugar maple foliar values, suggesting a common source of Sr in all of the actively cycling pools, but providing no help in distinguishing among them as sources to foliage. The Ca/Sr ratio in the soil exchange pool, however, decreases significantly with depth, and based on this variation, the exchange pool below the forest floor can be excluded as a major Ca source to the current sugar maple foliage. This study confirms that internal recycling of Ca between litter, organic soil horizons and vegetation dominate annual uptake of Ca in northern hardwood ecosystems. Refinement of our understanding of Ca and Sr uptake and allocation in trees allows improvement in the use of Ca/Sr and 87Sr/86Sr ratios to trace Ca sources to plants.

Keywords

Foliage Soil Ca/Sr 87Sr/86Sr Sugar maple Acer saccharum 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank A. Klaue, M. Johnson, K. Keller and C. Nezat for assistance in the laboratory and M. Vadeboncoeur and our student field crews for assistance with sample collection. Four anonymous reviewers are thanked for their helpful comments. We appreciate the opportunity provided by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Research Station to conduct research in the White Mountain National Forest and in particular the cooperation of C. Costello at the Bartlett Experimental Forest. Support for this study was provided by National Science Foundation grant DEB 0235650, which contributes to the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study (http://www.hubbardbrook.org) and the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program funded by the National Science Foundation.

References

  1. Åberg G, Jacks G, Hamilton PJ (1989) Weathering rates and 87Sr/86Sr ratios: an isotopic approach. J Hydrol 109:65–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Appelo CAJ, Postma D (1993) Geochemistry, groundwater and pollution. AA Balkema, Rotterdam, 536 ppGoogle Scholar
  3. Baes AU, Bloom PR (1988) Exchange of alkaline earth cations in soil organic matter. Soil Sci 146:6–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bailey SW, Hornbeck JW, Driscoll CT, Gaudette HE (1996) Calcium inputs and transport in a base-poor forest ecosystem as interpreted by Sr isotopes. Water Resour Res 32:707–719CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bailey SW, Buso DC, Likens GE (2003) Implications of sodium mass balance for interpreting the calcium cycle of a forested watershed. Ecology 84:471–484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berger TW, Swoboda S, Prohaska T, Glatzel G (2006) The role of calcium uptake from deep soils for spruce (Picea abies) and beech (Fagus sylvatica). Forest Ecol Manag 229:234–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blum JD, Taliaferro H, Weisse MT, Holmes RT (2000) Changes in Sr/Ca, Ba/Ca and 87Sr/86Sr ratios between trophic levels in two forest ecosystems in the northeastern USA. Biogeochem 49:87–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blum JD, Klaue A, Nezat CA, Driscoll CT, Johnson CE, Siccama TG, Eagar C, Fahey TJ, Likens GE (2002) Mycorrhizal weathering of apatite as an important calcium source in base-poor forest ecosystems. Nature 417:729–731CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bullen TD, Bailey SW (2005) Identifying calcium sources at an acid deposition-impacted spruce forest: a strontium isotope, alkaline earth element multi-tracer approach. Biogeochem 74:63–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dambrine E, Loubet M, Vega JA, Lissarague A (1997) Localisation of mineral uptake by roots using Sr isotopes. Plant Soil 192:129–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dasch AA, Blum JD, Eagar C, Fahey TJ, Driscoll CT, Siccama TG (2006) The relative uptake of Ca and Sr into tree foliage using a whole-watershed calcium addition. Biogeochem 80:21–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dijkstra FA, Van Breeman N, Jongmans AG, Davies GR, Likens GE (2003) Calcium weathering in forested soils and the effect of different tree species. Biogeochem 62:253–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Drouet T, Herbauts J (2007) Evaluation of the mobility and discrimination of Ca, Sr, and Ba in forest ecosystems: consequence on the use of alkaline-earth element ratios as tracers of Ca. Plant Soil. doi: 10.1007/s11104-007-9459-2
  14. Drouet T, Herbauts J, Gruber W, Demaiffe D (2005) Strontium isotope composition as a tracer of calcium sources in two forest ecosystems in Belgium. Geoderma 126:203–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Elias RW, Hirao Y, Patterson CC (1982) The circumvention of the natural biopurification of calcium along nutrient pathways by atmospheric inputs of industrial lead. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 46:2561–2580CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Federer CA, Hornbeck JW, Tritton LM, Martin CW, Pierce RS, Smith CT (1989) Long-term depletion of calcium and other nutrients in eastern US forests. Environ Manage NY 13:593–601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gosz JR, Moore DI (1989) Strontium isotope studies of atmospheric inputs to forested watersheds in New Mexico. Biogeochem 8:115–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Graustein WC, Armstrong RL (1983) The use of strontium-87/strontium-86 ratios to measure atmospheric transport into forested watersheds. Science 219:289–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hamburg SP, Yanai RD, Arthur MA, Blum JD, Siccama TG (2003) Biotic control of calcium cycling in northern hardwood forests: acid rain and aging forests. Ecosystems 6:399–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hawley GJ, Schaberg PG, Eagar C, Borer CH (2006) Calcium addition at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest reduced winter injury to red spruce in a high-injury year. Can J For Res 36:2544–2549CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hedin LO, Granat L, Likens GE, Bulshand TA, Galloway JN, Butler T, Rodhe H (1994) Steep declines in atmospheric base cations in regions of Europe and North America. Nature 367:351–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Horsley SB, Long RP, Bailey SW, Hallett RA, Hall TJ (2000) Factors associated with the decline disease of sugar maple on the Allegheny plateau. Can J For Res 30:1365–1378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Houston DR (1999) History of sugar maple decline. In: Horsley SB, Long RP (eds) Proceedings of International Symposium on Sugar Maple Ecology and Health US For Serv Gen Tech Rep:NE-261, pp 19–26Google Scholar
  24. Johnson CE, Johnson AH, Siccama TG (1992) Whole-tree clear-utting effects on exchangeable cations and soil acidity. Soil Sci Soc Amer J 55:502–508CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Juice SM, Fahey TJ, Siccama TG, Driscoll CT, Denny EG, Eagar C, Cleavitt NL, Minocha R, Richardson AD (2006) Response of sugar maple to calcium addition to northern hardwood forest. Ecology 87:1267–1280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Junge CE, Werby RT (1958) The concentrations of chloride, sodium, potassium, calcium and sulfate in rainwater over the United States. J Meteorol 15:417–425Google Scholar
  27. Kennedy MJ, Hedin LO, Derry LA (2002) Decoupling of unpolluted temperate forests from rock nutrient sources revealed by natural Sr-87/Sr-86 and Sr-84 tracer addition. Proc Nat Acad Sci 99:9639–9644CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kolb TE, McCormick LH (1993) Etiology of sugar maple decline in four Pennsylvania stands. Can J For Res 23:2395–2402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Likens GE, Driscoll CT, Buso DC (1996) Long-term effects of acid rain: response and recovery of a forest ecosystem. Science 272:244–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Likens GE, Driscoll CT, Buso DC, Siccama TG, Johnson CE, Lovett GM, Fahey TJ, Reiners WA, Ryan DF, Martin CW, Bailey SW (1998) The biogeochemistry of calcium at Hubbard Brook. Biogeochem 41:89–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mader DL, Thompson BW (1969) Foliar and soil nutrients in relation to sugar maple decline. Soil Sci Soc Amer Proc 33:794–800CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Marcus Y, Kertes AS (1968) Ion exchange and solvent extraction of metal complexes. Wiley Interscience, New York, 1046 ppGoogle Scholar
  33. McLaughlin SB, Wimmer R (1999) Tansley Review No 104-Calcium physiology and terrestrial ecosystem processes. New Phytol 142:373–417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Miller EK, Blum JD, Friedland AJ (1993) Determination of soil exchangeable-cation loss and weathering rates using Sr isotopes. Nature 362:438–441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nezat CA, Blum JD, Klaue A, Johnson CE, Siccama TG (2004) Influence of landscape position and vegetation on long-term weathering rates at Hubbard Brook, New Hampshire, USA. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 68:3065–3078CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nezat CA, Blum JD, Yanai RD, Hamburg SP (2007) A sequential extraction to selectively dissolve apatite for determination of soil nutrient pools with an application to the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire, USA. Appl Geochem 22:2406–2421CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Porder S, Paytan A, Vitousek PM (2005) Erosion and landscape development affect plant nutrient status in the Hawaiian Islands. Oecologia 142:440–449CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Poszwa A, Dambrine E, Pollier B, Atteia O (2000) A comparison between Ca and Sr cycling in forest ecosystems. Plant Soil 225:299–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Poszwa A, Dambrine E, Ferry B, Pollier B, Loubet M (2002) Do deep tree roots provide nutrients to the tropical rainforest? Biogeochem 60:97–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Poszwa A, Ferry B, Dambrine E, Pollier B, Wickman T, Loubet M, Bishop K (2004) Variations of bioavailable Sr concentration and 87Sr/86Sr ratios in boreal forest ecosystems: Role of biocycling, mineral weathering and depth of root uptake. Biogeochem 67:1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Reich PB, Oleksyn J, Modrzynski J, Mrozinski P, Hobbie SE, Eissenstat DM, Chorover J Chadwick OA, Hale CM, Tjoelker MG (2005) Linking litter calcium, earthworms and soil properties: a common garden test with 14 tree species. Ecol Lett 8:811–818CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Runia LT (1987) Strontium and calcium distribution in plants: effect on paleodietary studies. J Archeol Sci 14:599–608CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Schaberg PG, DeHayes DH, Hawley GJ (2001) Anthropogenic calcium depletion: a unique threat to forest ecosystem health? Ecosyst Health 7:214–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Watmough SA, Dillon PJ (2003) Mycorrhizal weathering in base-poor forests. Nature 423:823–824CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Yanai RD, Siccama TG, Arthur MA, Federer CA, Friedland AJ (1999) Accumulation and depletion of base cations in forest floors in the northeastern US. Ecology 80:2774–2787CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Yanai RD, Arthur MA, Siccama TG, Federer CA (2000) Challenges of measuring forest floor organic matter dynamics: repeated measures from a chronosequence. For Ecol Manage 138:273–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Yanai RD, Park BB, Hamburg SP (2006) The vertical and horizontal distribution of roots in northern hardwoods of varying age. Can J For Res 36:450–459CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joel D. Blum
    • 1
  • Amanda A. Dasch
    • 1
  • Steven P. Hamburg
    • 2
  • Ruth D. Yanai
    • 3
  • Mary A. Arthur
    • 4
  1. 1.Departments of Geological Sciences and EcologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Center for Environmental StudiesBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.College of Environmental Science and ForestrySyracuseUSA
  4. 4.College of ForestryUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations