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Aluminum in soil solutions from a subalpine spruce-fir forest at Whiteface Mountain, New York

July 31, 1992

Direct or indirect Al toxicity has been suggested as a principal factor in forest tree declines. We monitored ambient soil solutions in undisturbed and experimentally manipulated soils from a fir [Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.]-spruce forest on Whiteface Mountain, NY, in order to characterize soil solution Al concentrations over a range of acid anion loadings. Under both natural and experimental conditions total Al and labile Al concentrations rarely exceeded values (180–250 µmol L−1) associated with reduced root growth in red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.). Over a 2-yr period ambient soil solutions averaged 76 and 46 µmol L−1 total Al in the organic and mineral horizons, respectively. The highest monthly mean concentrations occurred in winter. Disturbance-induced NO3 accumulation and simulated acid rain applications produced higher peak Al values in experimental plots than were observed in undisturbed and untreated plots. Although soils of the fir-spruce zone exhibited the potential to yield solutions with phytotoxic Al concentrations, it appears that such concentrations are both spatially and temporally limited and infrequently present a direct stress to root growth in red spruce.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1992
Title Aluminum in soil solutions from a subalpine spruce-fir forest at Whiteface Mountain, New York
DOI 10.2134/jeq1992.00472425002100030007x
Authors E. K. Miller, Thomas G. Huntington, A. H. Johnson, A. J. Friedland
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Environmental Quality
Series Number
Index ID 70205175
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization New England Water Science Center