Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Gregory B. Lawrence; Mark B. David; Walter C. Shortle
    Date: 1995
    Source: Nature. 378(9): 162-165.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (676.26 KB)


    Calcium is the fifth most abundant element in trees, and is an essential component for wood formation and the maintenance of cell walls. Depletion of Ca from the rooting zone can result in acidification of soil and surface water and possibly growth decline and dieback of red spruce. During the past six decades, concentrations of root-available Ca (exchangeable and acid-extractable forms) in forest-floor soils have decreased in the northeastern United state. Both net forest growth and acid deposition have been put forth as mechanisms that can account for this Ca depletions. Here, however, we present data collected in red spruce forests in the northeastern United States that are inconsistent with either of these mechanisms. We propose that aluminium, mobilized in the mineral soil by acid deposition, is transported into the forest floor in a reactive form that reduces storage of Ca, and thus its availability for root uptake. This results in potential stress to trees and, by increasing the demand for Ca, also decreases neutralization of drainage waters, thereby leading to acidification of lakes and streams.

    Publication Notes

    • 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, 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.


    Lawrence, Gregory B.; David, Mark B.; Shortle, Walter C. 1995. A new mechanism for calcium loss in forest-floor soils. Nature. 378(9): 162-165.

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page