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Nutrient Budgets of Appalachian and Cascade Region Watersheds: A Comparison

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Precipitation inputs and streamflow outputs of nitrogen, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium were compared for two deciduous forest watersheds and a coniferous forest watershed. While nitrogen inputs varied by nearly tenfold among the watersheds, ammonium and nitrate discharge in streamflow was uniformly small resulting in net accumulation within all three ecosystems. In contrast, cation discharge was more variable among the watersheds than cation input and was strongly related to the bedrock of each watershed. The internal distribution and cycling of nitrogen, potassium, and calcium within each of the three watershed ecosystems were also compared. There were interpretable differences between nutrient cycling patterns in the coniferous and deciduous forests. Overall, however, all three ecosystems were effectively retaining and recycling these nutrients. Forest Sci. 24:385-397.

Keywords: Nutrient cycling; calcium; ecosystem analysis; nitrogen; potassium

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Associate, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.

Publication date: September 1, 1978

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
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