Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (676 KB)

Title: A new mechanism for calcium loss in forest-floor soils

Author: Lawrence, Gregory B.; David, Mark B.; Shortle, Walter C.;

Date: 1995

Source: Nature. 378(9): 162-165.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Calcium is the fifth most abundant element in trees, and is an essential component for wood formation and the maintenance of cell walls. Depletion of Ca from the rooting zone can result in acidification of soil and surface water and possibly growth decline and dieback of red spruce. During the past six decades, concentrations of root-available Ca (exchangeable and acid-extractable forms) in forest-floor soils have decreased in the northeastern United state. Both net forest growth and acid deposition have been put forth as mechanisms that can account for this Ca depletions. Here, however, we present data collected in red spruce forests in the northeastern United States that are inconsistent with either of these mechanisms. We propose that aluminium, mobilized in the mineral soil by acid deposition, is transported into the forest floor in a reactive form that reduces storage of Ca, and thus its availability for root uptake. This results in potential stress to trees and, by increasing the demand for Ca, also decreases neutralization of drainage waters, thereby leading to acidification of lakes and streams.

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
  • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.



Lawrence, Gregory B.; David, Mark B.; Shortle, Walter C. 1995. A new mechanism for calcium loss in forest-floor soils. Nature. 378(9): 162-165.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.