Skip to Main Content
Chemical and biological relationships relevant to the effect of acid rainfall on the soil-plant systemAuthor(s): Marvin Nyborg
Source: In: Dochinger, L. S.; Seliga, T. A., eds. Proceedings of the first international symposium on acid precipitation and the forest ecosystem; Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-23. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 791-813
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Northeastern Research Station
PDF: View PDF (950.91 KB)
DescriptionThis paper deals with problems of measuring acidity in rainfall and the interpretation of these measurements in terms of effects on the soil-plant system. Theoretical relationships of the carbon-dioxide-bicarbonate equalibria and its effect on rainfall acidity measurements are given. The relationship of a cation-anion balance model of acidity in rainfall to plant nutrient uptake processes is considered. It was concluded that average H+ concentration calculated from pH measurements is not a satisfactory method of determining H+ loading from rainfall unless the rain is consistently acid. Cation-anion balance or titration methods should be more reliable. The flux of H+ ions in soil systems due to plant uptake processes and sulfur and nitrogen cycling is considered. H+ is produced by oxidation of reduced sulfur and nitrogen compounds mineralized during decomposition of organic matter. Plant uptake processes may result in production of either H+ or O H- ions. Fluxes of H+ from these processes are much greater than rainfall H+ inputs, complicating measurement and interpretation of rainfall effects. The soil acidifying potential due to the oxidation of the NH4+ in rainfall is examined, with the conclusion that acidity from this source is of a similar magnitude to direct H+ inputs common in rainfall.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
Citationnull 1976. Chemical and biological relationships relevant to the effect of acid rainfall on the soil-plant system. In: Dochinger, L. S.; Seliga, T. A., eds. Proceedings of the first international symposium on acid precipitation and the forest ecosystem; Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-23. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 791-813
- Acid precipitation and forest soils
- Biogeochemical cycling and chemical fluxes in a managed northern forested wetland, Michigan, USA
- Sulfur cycling, retention, and mobility in soils: A review
XML: View XML