In addition to strong natural stresses forest ecosystems in the Kola Subarctic, Russia, . receive high loads of sulphur and heavy metals from the nickel smelter. To estimate soil response to acid deposition we compared the soil field data along a pollution gradient and simulated time effects. Multivariate technique was applied to investigate spatial distribution of soil field data. Time response of soils to acid deposition was evaluated with the SMART model. According to field observations there is no evidence for strong soil acidification effects close to the smelter. Concentrations of exchangeable Ca and base saturation increase, while acidity decrease in lower soil mineral horizons towards the pollution source. However, some features seem to reflect the early stages of the started acidification. Most soil profiles have low pH values. Despite increasing of exchangeable Ca and Mg towards the smelter in lower mineral horizons due to geological inheritance, they do not reveal the same trends in the upper ones. Concentration of exchangeable K in organic horizons decreases towards the smelter, thus confirming the starting acidification. As result, exchangeable base cations are depleted in the considerable part of shallow soil profiles. According to model simulation the present acid load does not effect considerably on forest soils in background areas, however, dramatic shift in soil chemistry near the smelter is expected within several decades. Due to low pool of exchangeable base cations and low weathering rate continued acid deposition can lead to increased soil acidification and nutrient imbalance.
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- Effects of Acid Deposition on Forest Soils in Northernmost Russia: Modelled and Field Data
Serguei V. Koptsik
Galina N. Koptsik
- Springer Netherlands