Current issue: 53(2)
Under compilation: 53(3)
Physical soil properties have a marked influence on the quality of forest sites and on the preconditions for forest growth and management. In this study, water retention characteristics (WRC) and related physical soil properties in addition to vegetation coverage and tree stand data were studied at upland forest sites in Finland. Fixed and mixed models between soil and site characteristics were formed to estimate physical and hydrologic soil characteristics and the site quality with indirect co-varying variables. In the present data, the site quality index (H100) shows a high coefficient of determination in respect to the temperature sum. It is also related to soil fine fraction content, topsoil pH and water retention at field capacity. The thickness of the humus layer is predictable from the pH and cover of xeric and mesic plant species. The soil fine fraction content (clay + silt) is closely related to water retention at field capacity, the soil layer and site type, and without WRC to the temperature sum and site index and type, as well as the slope angle. The soil bulk density is related to organic matter, depth (layer) or alternatively to organic matter, slope and field estimated textural class (fine, medium, coarse). Water retention characteristics were found to be best determinable by the fine fraction content, depth and bulk density. Water content and air-filled porosity at field capacity are closely related to the fine fraction. This study provides novel models for further investigations that aim at improved prediction models for forest growth, hydrology and trafficability.
In producing time series of soil properties, there are many technical and statistical problems which need to be taken into account when sampling and analysing the measurement data. In field the reliable localization of sample plots and the precise distinction of different soil layers are important to reduce the variance caused by the sampling procedure. In laboratory the use of same extraction salt, sample pretreatment procedure and filter paper throughout a measurement series is important. The remarkable small-scale variation within a sampling plot leads to a need of a large number of samples to be collected.
In this study, no trends attributable to soil acidification in the contents of exchangeable base cations could be found among the years 1982, 1985 and 1988. However, in eluvial and illuvial layers the pH decreased and the content of extractable H+ increased during this period. In illuvial layer also the content of extractable aluminium increased.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
In this study we analyse how the ion concentrations in forest soil solution are determined by hydrological and biogeochemical processes. A dynamic mode ACIDIC was developed, including processes common to dynamic soil acidification models. The model treats one to eight interacting layers and simulates soil hydrology, transpiration, root water and nutrient uptake, cation exchange, dissolutions and reaction of Al hydroxides in solution, and the formation of carbonic acid and its dissociation products. It includes also a possibility to a simultaneous use of preferential and matrix flow paths, enabling the throughfall water to enter the deeper soil layers in macropores without first reacting with the upper layers. Three different combinations of routing the throughfall water via macro- and micropores through the soil profile is presented. The large vertical gradient in the observed total charge was simulated successfully. According to the simulations, gradient is mostly caused by differences in the intensity of water uptake, sulphate adsorption and organic anion retention at the various depths. The temporal variations in Ca and Mg concentrations were simulated fairly well in all soil layers. For H+, Al and K there were much more variation in the observed than in the simulated concentrations. Flow in macropores is a possible explanation for the apparent disequilibrium of the cation exchange for H+ ad K, as the solution H+ and K concentrations have great vertical gradients in soil. The amount of exchangeable H+ increased in O and E horizons and decreased in the Bs1 and Bs2 horizons, the net change in whole soil profile being a decrease. A large part of the decrease of the exchangeable H+ in the illuvial B horizon was caused by sulphate adsorption. The model produces soil water amounts and solution ion concentrations which are comparable to the measured values, and it can be used in both hydrological and chemical studies of soils.