Canadian Forest Service Publications

Evaluating critical soil acidification loads and exceedances for a deciduous forest at the Turkey Lakes Watershed. 2001. Moayeri, M.H.; Meng, F.-R.; Arp, P.A.; Foster, N.W. Ecosystems 4: 555-567.

Year: 2001

Available from: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 21509

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Abstract

Critical soil acidification loads (CL) and related exceedances, base cation leaching, N leaching, and forest biomass growth were evaluated for a well-studied deciduous forest site within the Turkey Lake Watershed (TLW). The assessment was done by way of steady-state mass balance considerations of primary inputs for N, Ca, Mg, and K. Critical soil acidification rates were found to be high at TLW. These rates amounted to about 900 or 1400 eq/(ha yr) depending on the forest harvesting regime (selective harvest or maintainence of old-growth condition, respectively). The TLW soil substrate (till derived from basaltic bedrock) appeared to weather well, thereby buffering against natural and anthropogenic soil acidification. As a consequence, soil acidification exceedances were estimated to be relatively low for both the selective harvest and old-growth scenarios. In comparing overall S and N input/output data (atmospheric deposition data vs soil leaching losses), we found that the TLW site was essentially near or at S and N saturation. We also found that atmospheric deposition and soil leaching rates have been declining since about 1980. The figures for CL and exceedance varied to some extent depending on the quality of input data and related uncertainties. Estimated exceedances were increased when dry- as well as wet-deposition rates were considered. They varied depending on the yearly sulfate/nitrate/base-cation mix, and the definition of ``acceptable acid leaching.'' In addition, they were dependent on whether the forest was considered old growth or not.

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