Smog nitrogen and the rapid acidification of forest soil, San Bernardino Mountains, southern California

Yvonne A. Wood, Mark Fenn, Thomas Meixner, Peter J. Shouse, Joan Breiner, Edith Allen, Laosheng Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report the rapid acidification of forest soils in the San Bernardino Mountains of southern California. After 30 years, soil to a depth of 25 cm has decreased from a pH (measured in 0.01 M CaCl2) of 4.8 to 3.1. At the 50-cm depth, it has changed from a pH of 4.8 to 4.2. We attribute this rapid change in soil reactivity to very high rates of anthropogenic atmospheric nitrogen (N) added to the soil surface (72 kg ha-1 year-1) from wet, dry, and fog deposition under a Mediterranean climate. Our research suggests that a soil textural discontinuity, related to a buried ancient landsurface, contributes to this rapid acidification by controlling the spatial and temporal movement of precipitation into the landsurface. As a result, the depth to which dissolved anthropogenic N as nitrate (NO3) is leached early in the winter wet season is limited to within the top ∼130 cm of soil where it accumulates and increases soil acidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-180
Number of pages6
JournalTheScientificWorldJournal
Volume7
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 21 2007

Keywords

  • Air pollution
  • Forest soils
  • Geochemistry
  • Landscape-atmosphere interactions
  • Nitrogen
  • Soil hydrology
  • Soil pH
  • Stone lines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Smog nitrogen and the rapid acidification of forest soil, San Bernardino Mountains, southern California'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this