Contributions of Acid Deposition and Natural Processes to Cation Leaching from Forest Soils: A Review

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of the Air Pollution Control Association




Air and Waste Management Association

Publication Date


First Page


Last Page



The methods of quantifying atmospheric vs. internal effects on leaching described in this paper illustrate certain basic principles which can be applied to an analysis of a broad range of existing data sets. As with any attempt to generalize from site specific data, there are shortcomings, but certain patterns seem to emerge. With regard to natural leaching processes, organic acids may play a major role in cold region soils undergoing podzolization, carbonic acid may play a major role in tropical and temperate soils, and nitric acid may play a major role in nitrogen-rich soils (such as those with N-fixing vegetation). Verification of these patterns by further site specific information is required before generalizations can be safely made, but the methods and assumptions leading to the evaluation of controlling processes in each of these ecosystems are fundamentally sound and applicable to the central issue of the relative importance of atmospheric acid deposition to soil leaching.


Originally published by the Air and Waste Management Association. Abstract available through remote link. Membership or purchase required to access article fulltext.