Water, Air and Soil Pollution: Focus

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 5–28 | Cite as

Effects of Acidification and its Mitigation with Lime and Wood Ash on Forest Soil Processes: A Review

  • U. S. Lundström
  • D. C. Bain
  • A. F. S. Taylor
  • P. A. W. van Hees


Anthropogenic acid deposition causes forest soil acidification and perturbation of the soil forming processes. The impact of soil acidification on tree growth is discussed in view of the role of mycorrhizal fungi in weathering and nutrient uptake. A review has been carried out of experiments involving treatments of forest soil by lime and wood ash, where soil properties and soil solution composition have been investigated. Results from these experiments in Europe and North America are summarized. In general, the content of C in the mor layer decreased as a result of treatment due to higher microbial activity and soil respiration as well as increased leakage of DOC. In addition, the content of N in the mor layer, in general, decreased after treatment and there are occasional peaks of high NO3concentrations in soil solution. In nearly all reviewed investigations the pH of the deep mineral soil solution decreased and Al, SO4and NO3concentrations increased after treatment. These effects are probably due to the high ionic strength and increased microbial activity as a consequence of the treatments. In the soil, pH, CEC and base saturation increased in the upper horizons, but decreases in the upper mineral soil are also reported. In general, there was no increase in tree growth as a result of these treatments. The positive effects of the treatments on soil processes and tree growth are therefore questionable. In view of these conclusions, an investigation was carried out on the soil and soil solution chemistry and the role of mycorrhizal fungi in a spruce stand treated with two doses of lime and another treated with lime/ash in southern Sweden. The results of this investigation is reported in this volume.

acidification forest lime podzol soil wood ash 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. S. Lundström
    • 1
  • D. C. Bain
    • 2
  • A. F. S. Taylor
    • 3
  • P. A. W. van Hees
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Natural and Environmental SciencesMid Sweden UniversitySundsvallSweden (author for correspondence
  2. 2.The Macaulay Land Use Research InstituteAberdeenU.K
  3. 3.Department of Forest Mycology and PathologySwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden

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