Canadian Forest Service Publications

Regression equations for estimating throughfall nutrient fluxes using wet deposition data and their applicability for simulating the soil acid-base status using the dynamic forest soil-atmosphere model SAFE. 2004. Bélanger, N.; Paré, D.; Courchesne, F. Ecol. Model. 175: 151-167.

Year: 2004

Available from: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 25281

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)


Throughfall may contribute large amounts of nutrients to forest soils via the leaching of accumulated dry particulates on the canopy, and by altering incoming precipitation, it may have some control on the acid–base status of the soil. Unfortunately, information about throughfall in forests is sparse and thus, scientists must deal with this gap in knowledge before conducting regional applications of dynamic soil acidification models. The first objective of this paper was to test the possibility of developing regression equations that could allow modellers to estimate throughfall nutrient fluxes using wet deposition nutrient fluxes as input data. The second objective was to test the relative importance of this simplification on regional applications of the dynamic soil– atmosphere model Soil Acidification in Forested Ecosystems (SAFE) using one published application of this model as the base case. Annual throughfall nutrient fluxes were estimated successfully from annual wet deposition fluxes for individual ions. The success of these relationships were however inversely proportional to the intensity at which an ion was involved in exchange reactions: models generally performed better with more conservative ions. The simulation of the soil acid–base status with SAFE suggested that itwas appropriate to use the throughfall estimates yielded using the regression equations. Also, testing of the SAFE output using different regression equations in throughfall showed that, in the case of base cations, the key for modelling the soil acid–base status was to produce accurate throughfall estimates of Ca and Mg, and that K had marginal effects. However, a small bias in solution pHwas introduced as the balance between alkalinity and acidity in the different categories of deposition appeared to be diverging from the base case (measured) values. The use of our approach at other sites may indicate if there is a systematic bias or not in the regressions. Yet, results suggest that the regression equations are appropriate for the purpose of modelling the soil acid–base status at the scale of the landscape because it assures that the same set of assumptions in throughfall are used for each application.

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