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Acid deposition: effects of sulphuric acid at pH 3 on chemical and biochemical properties of bracken litter


, : Acid deposition: effects of sulphuric acid at pH 3 on chemical and biochemical properties of bracken litter. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 17(1): 31-38

The effects of increased acid deposition on some biochemical and chemical properties of bracken litter overlying a podzolic soil contained in monolith lysimeters were investigated. Pairs of lysimeters each received 1500 mm yr-1 of "rain" consisting either of distilled water or pH 3.0 sulfuric acid applied evenly over a 5 yr period. The acid-treatment resulted in a marked acidification of the litter, associated with accelerated leaching of Ca2+, Mg2+, K+ and Mn2+. Acid treatment also increased the concentration of extractable Al3+ in the litter. The biochemical changes observed in the litter as a consequence of acidification included decreases of 33% in ATP content and 54% in respiration rate. Significant reductions in the mineralization rates of urea, glucose and acetate, and in the activities of 4-nitrophenylphosphatase, .beta.-N-acetyl-D-glucosaminidase, exo-1,4-.beta.-D-xylosidase and peroxidase were also observed in the acid-treated litter. The acid-treated litter also contained slightly less total N, ammonium-N and total P, and slightly more residual hexose carbohydrate than the control litter. The effects observed were consistent with a decrease in microbial activity associated with litter acidification and were reflected in a small (5.5%) but significant (P < 0.05) decrease in litter decomposition. Acid treatment decreased the ATP content of the mineral soil by .apprx. 13% in the 3 cm immediately beneath the litter, but below this depth no significant difference was observed.

US$19.90

DOI: 10.1016/0038-0717(85)90087-2


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