Simulated effects of reduced sulfur, nitrogen, and base cation deposition on soils and solutions in Southern Appalachian forests
Effects of reduced deposition of N, S, and CB on nutrient pools, fluxes, soil, and soil solution chemistry were simulated for two Appalachian forest ecosystems using the nutrient cycling model. In the extremely acidic, N- and S-saturated red spruce (Picea rubens (Sarg.)) forest (Nolan Divide), reducing CB deposition by 50 percent reduced CB leaching by -40 percent during the 24-yr simulation period. This was due solely to the effects of CB deposition on the soil exchanger rather than effects on soil solution. Reducing S and N by 50 percent caused immediate reductions in total anion and cation leaching at Nolan Divide, but the effects on soil solution CB diminished and CB leaching was reduced by only 17 percent over the simulation period. Reducing S and N deposition had a greater effect on soil solution aluminum (AI) and molar Ca/AI ratio than reducing base cation deposition at Nolan Divide. In the moderately acidic, N- and S-accumulating mixed deciduous forest at Coweeta, reduced CB deposition by 50 percent caused a very slight (<4 percent) reduction in CB leaching as a result of slightly reduced base saturation and increased soil sulfate adsorption. The effects on reducing S and N deposition by 50 percent on CB leaching (16 percent over the simulation period) were greater than those of reduced CB deposition. The system continued to accumulate both S and N even at reduced deposition at Coweeta, although growth and vegetation uptake were slightly reduced (-5 percent) because of increased N deficiency. Base saturation remained well above the AI buffering range at all times at Coweeta and AI was an unimportant component of soil solutions in all scenarios.