Deacidification effect of the litter layer on forest soil during snowmelt runoff--laboratory experiment and its basic formularization for simulation modeling.

Department of Basic Science and Environment, ESAC--Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, Bencanta, 3040-316 Coimbra, Portugal.
Chemosphere (Impact Factor: 3.5). 03/2004; 54(8):1163-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2003.10.025
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The forest soil ecosystem can buffer and neutralize acidic airborne pollutants to some extent, but extensive acidification degrades the soil ecosystem. Several investigations have shown that surface flows often show particularly low pH values in rivers and lakes during snowmelt and that this acidification phenomenon takes place in a short time frame. Acid water from snowmelt first makes contact with the litter layer in the soil ecosystem. Therefore, a laboratory experiment was performed to study the impact of forest litter on the chemical composition of the water solution. The experiment presented in this paper confirmed that deacidification with a little leachate of organic matter is caused by cation exchange not only in upper mineral soil but also in the litter layer and that leachate of labile Al is restrained in the presence of litter. An attempt was made to incorporate these factors into the biogeochemical module of the model (ILWAS) to accurately estimate damage by acidification.

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