Temporal trends in chemical parameters of upland forest soils in southern Finland
Changes in chemical soil properties during periods of 12 to 28 years were studied in 54 stands in southern Finland. Relative slopes (%/year) were calculated for the changes in soil variables in order to utilise all the sampling occasions (2–6) covered by the study period. Only the results of new analyses made on the soil samples could be used owing to unpredictable differences between the results of the original and new analyses. During the study period the acidity (pH, exchangeable acidity) of the organic layer had decreased, and the mineral soil had become more acidic only in terms of increased exchangeable aluminium concentrations. An increasing trend in the amount of soil organic matter best explained the acidity variables: it lowered acidity in the organic layer, but increased it in the mineral soil. Acid ammonium acetate extractable nutrients showed decreasing trends over time, apart from an increasing trend for sulphur in the 0–30 cm mineral soil layer. Total concentrations of most elements in the organic layer, including nitrogen and sulphur, also showed a decreasing trend. Changes in the soil variables could not be firmly connected to deposition, wood production or the amount of nutrients accumulated in woody tissues. However, the decrease in sulphur concentrations in the organic layer was clearly linked with the decrease in sulphur deposition in recent years.
Received 1 July 2004 Accepted 25 August 2005 Published 31 December 2005