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Forest Condition Monitoring in Finland – National report

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Kuva: Metla/Erkki Oksanen

Soil condition monitoring on Level II plots – parameters related to acidity and buffering status

By Antti-Jussi Lindroos, Kirsti Derome, Tiina M. Nieminen, Pekka Tamminen & Hannu Ilvesniemi

Summary

S deposition has decreased clearly during the monitoring period, but the acidifying deposition (S and N compounds) is still higher in southern than in northern Finland. At the same time, there is a strong climatic gradient from hemiboreal zone to northen boreal zone affecting many processes in the forest soils. Therefore it is difficult to make a difference between the effects of acid deposition and climatic factors on soil acidity status on the Level II plots in Finland. Base saturation of the topsoil has decreased during the monitoring period on many plots. According to pH values, the plot which is strongly acidified is located on acid sulphate soil. The lowest acidity of the organic and uppermost mineral soil layer as well as the highest base saturation was measured on the birch plot in southern Finland.

Background

Soil properties of the intensive monitoring plots (Level II) have been determined twice since the starting of the monitoring activities in Finland. The first round was associated with the establishment Level II monitoring network during 1995-1998. There have been slight changes in the monitoring network during the study years, so that the last Level II plots were established in 2006 (2 birch plots) and in 2009 (1 pine and 1 spruce plot). The second round of the soil condition monitoring took place for most of the plots as a part of the BIOSOIL project (see Tamminen et al., Level I in this publication).

The aim of this report is to present results of soil condition monitoring related to the acidity and buffering status of forest soil. The results are part of the BIOSOIL project for most of the plots. For 2 plots, the results are part of the EU Life+ project FutMon. The BIOSOIL data were collected in 2006 and FutMon data 2009.

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Results and discussion

Birch plots

The pH of the organic layer (humus) and upper part of the mineral soil was higher on the Punkaharju plot in eastern Finland compared to the Kivalo plot in northern Finland (Fig. 1
Fig. 1. pH(H2O) of the organic (humus) layer, and the mineral soil layers 0-5, 5-10, 10-20 and 20-40 cm on the Level II birch plots.
). The pH values were the highest on the Punkaharju birch plot in the whole Level II plot network, i.e. also compared to the values on all the spruce and pine plots (see below).

Cation exchange capacity (CEC, Fig. 2
Fig. 2. Cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the organic (humus) layer, and the mineral soil layers 0-5, 5-10, 10-20 and 20-40 cm on the Level II birch plots.
) and base saturation (BS, Fig. 3
Fig. 3. Base saturation (BS) of the organic (humus) layer, and the mineral soil layers 0-5, 5-10, 10-20 and 20-40 cm on the Level II birch plots.
) were higher on all the soil layers in Punkaharju than in Kivalo. BS was also generally higher on the Punkaharju birch plot compared to the spruce and pine plots (see below).

The concentration of exchangeable Al was higher in the organic layer in Kivalo than in Punkaharju but vice versa in the mineral soil layers (Fig. 4
Fig. 4. Concentration of exchangeable Al of the organic (humus) layer, and the mineral soil layers 0-5, 5-10, 10-20 and 20-40 cm on the Level II birch plots.
).

Pine plots

The clearest differences in the soil pH values of the pine plots were found in the deeper layers (Fig. 5
Fig. 5. pH(H2O) of the organic (humus) layer, and the mineral soil layers 0-5, 5-10, 10-20 and 20-40 cm on the Level II pine plots.
). The pH values were the lowest in the soil layers 10–20 and 20–40 cm on the plots in southern Finland. The CEC values varied between the plots (Fig. 6
Fig. 6. Cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the organic (humus) layer, and the mineral soil layers 0-5, 5-10, 10-20 and 20-40 cm on the Level II pine plots.
), but the lowest BS values (Fig. 7
Fig. 7. Base saturation (BS) of the organic (humus) layer, and the mineral soil layers 0-5, 5-10, 10-20 and 20-40 cm on the Level II pine plots.
) were also detected on two southernmost plots, Miehikkälä and Luumäki. The highest exchangeable Al concentrations in the organic and uppermost mineral soil layer were observed on the Juupajoki plot (Fig. 8
Fig. 8. Concentration of exchangeable Al of the organic (humus) layer, and the mineral soil layers 0-5, 5-10, 10-20 and 20-40 cm on the Level II pine plots.
).

Spruce plots

The pH values of the deeper soil layers 10–20 and 20–40 cm were higher on the plots in northern Finland (Pallas, Kivalo, Oulanka) compared to the other spruce plots in central and southern Finland (Fig. 9
Fig. 9. pH(H2O) of the organic (humus) layer, and the mineral soil layers 0-5, 5-10, 10-20 and 20-40 cm on the Level II spruce plots.
). The lowest pH values were measured on the Uusikaarlepyy plot throughout the soil profile reflecting the fact that this spruce stand is located on an acid sulphate soil (see also Nieminen et al., Soil percolation water quality in this publication). Variation in CEC and BS values among the plots is presented in Figs. 10
Fig. 10. Cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the organic (humus) layer, and the mineral soil layers 0-5, 5-10, 10-20 and 20-40 cm on the Level II spruce plots.
and 11
Fig. 11. Base saturation (BS) of the organic (humus) layer, and the mineral soil layers 0-5, 5-10, 10-20 and 20-40 cm on the Level II spruce plots.
. BS values in 2006 (Fig. 11
Fig. 11. Base saturation (BS) of the organic (humus) layer, and the mineral soil layers 0-5, 5-10, 10-20 and 20-40 cm on the Level II spruce plots.
) in the organic layer and upper mineral soil have decreased on most of the spruce plots since the establishment of the plots in 1995–1998 (Derome et al. 2001). The exchangeable Al concentrations were lower on the spruce plots located in northern Finland (Pallas, Kivalo, Oulanka) compared to the other spruce plots in central and southern Finland (Fig. 12
Fig. 12. Concentration of exchangeable Al of the organic (humus) layer, and the mineral soil layers 0-5, 5-10, 10-20 and 20-40 cm on the Level II spruce plots.
).

Material and methods

Soil samples were taken from the Level II plots in 2006 as a part of the BIOSOIL project. In addition, the samples were taken from 2 plots in 2009 as a part of the establishment of these plots. The soil types and texture are presented in Table 1 (pdf). Samples were taken from the organic layer and from the mineral soil layers 0–5, 5–10, 10–20 and 20–40 cm. Three composite soil samples were taken from each plot. pH was measured in distilled water, and exchangeable cations were determined using BaCl 2 extraction followed by determination of elemental concentrations with inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrophotometer (ICP/AES). Exchangeable acidity (EA) was determined by titration of the extract with NaOH to pH 7.8. Cation exchange capacity (CEC) was calculated as a sum of exchangeable base cations (Ca, Mg, K, Na) and EA. Base saturation (BS) was calculated as a proportion (%) of exchangeable base cations out of CEC (Cools & De Vos 2010).

References

Cools, N. & De Vos, B. 2010. Sampling and analysis of soil. Manual Part X, 208 pp. In: Manual on methods and criteria for harmonized sampling, assessment, monitoring and analysis of the effects of air pollution on forests, UNECE, ICP Forests, Hamburg.

Derome, J., Lindroos, A-J., Lindgren, M. 2001. Soil acidity parameters and defoliation degree in six Norway spruce stands in Finland. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution: Focus 1: 169–186.

Citation: Lindroos, A-J., Derome, K., Nieminen, T.M., Tamminen, P. and Ilvesniemi, H. (2013). Soil condition monitoring on Level II plots – parameters related to acidity and buffering status. In: Merilä, P. & Jortikka, S. (eds.). Forest Condition Monitoring in Finland – National report. The Finnish Forest Research Institute. [Online report]. Available at http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:metla-201305087578. [Cited 2013-05-07].

: Updated: 10.05.2013 /SJor |  Photo: Erkki Oksanen, Metla, unless otherwise stated  |  Copyright Metla  |  Feedback