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Recovery of Soil pH, Cation-exchange Capacity and the Saturation of Exchange Sites from Stemflow-induced Soil Acidification in Three Swedish Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) Forests

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Stemflow water acidifies the soil in beech stands impacted by atmospheric deposition. To investigate whether the soil recovers from acidification, stemflow was experimentally removed. A horizon material was sampled at a distance of 10-250 cm from the stems. Before the onset of the experiment, there were stemflow-induced gradients in the saturation of exchange sites with K+, H+ and Na+ that were larger near the stems, while the pHKCl, the cation-exchange capacity, and the saturation with Ca2+, Mg2+ and Mn2+ were smaller. After 8 yrs of recovery, the pHKCl and the saturation with Ca2+ and Mg2+ had increased close to the stems, while the saturation with Na+, H+, Mn2+ and 2+ and the C/N ratio had decreased. With some exceptions, e.g. base saturation, the recovery was not complete after 8 yrs. Soil far from stems had also changed similarly, probably because of the ongoing decrease in overall deposition in southern Sweden.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-02-01

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