Canadian Forest Service Publications

Reversal of Forest Soil Acidification in the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada: Site and Soil Factors Contributing to Recovery. Hazlett, P., Emilson, C., Lawrence, G., Fernandez, I., Ouimet, R., Bailey, S., Soil Syst. 2020, 4, 54

Year: 2020

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 40212

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (download)

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Plain Language Summary

As acidic deposition has decreased across eastern North America, forest soils at some sites are beginning to show reversal of soil acidification. However, the degree of recovery appears to vary and is not fully explained by deposition declines alone. To assess if other site and soil factors can help to explain degree of recovery from acid deposition, soil resampling chemistry data (8 to 24 year time interval) from 23 sites in the United States and Canada, located across 25o longitude from eastern Maine to western Ontario, were explored. O and B horizons that were initially acidified to a greater degree showed greater recovery and B horizon recovery was further associated with an increase in recovery years and lower initial SO42- deposition. These results suggest that forest soils that would be considered to have low buffering capacity and a reduced potential for recovery have the resilience to recover from the effects of previous high levels of acidic deposition.