Differences in Aluminum Mobilization in Spodosols in New Hampshire (USA) and in the Netherlands as a Result of Acid Deposition

  • J. Mulder
  • N. van Breemen
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 16)


We studied aluminum mobilization in two Spodosols from the Netherlands (one under forest, and one under heather), and compared the results with aluminum mobilization data for North American Spodosols at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF), New Hampshire. Annual budgets for aluminum, silica and sulphate were calculated from measured chemical fluxes in precipitation and throughfall, soil solution chemistry and estimated soil water fluxes. In the Netherlands, due to canopy entrappment, the forested Spodosol received higher inputs of atmospheric (NH4)2SO4 (1.3 kmol.ha−1.y−1) than the heathland Spodosol (0.5 kmol.ha−1.y−1). Assimilation of NH 4 + , the main source of acidity, caused a strong mobilization of aluminum, which resulted in a net removal of Al (as sulphate) from the illuvial B horizon. Soil Solutions in the B horizons at both Dutch sites were slightly undersaturated with natural gibbsite, but reached saturation with jurbanite (Al(SO4)(OH).5H2O). Spodosols from New Hampshire (USA) have atmospheric acid inputs similar to the Dutch Spodosol under heather, but neutralization mainly takes place through basic cation solubilization, and only to a small extent via aluminum solubilization. In the North American podzol B horizons organic aluminum transport to and inorganic aluminum export from the B horizon are about equal, so there is no net breakdown of this horizon. Soil solutions from the B horizons at HBEF are slightly undersaturated with natural gibbsite and highly undersaturated with jurbanite. A lower content of weatherable silicate minerals is probably the main cause for the higher levels of dissolved aluminum in the Dutch Spodosols compared to those at HBEF, U.S.A. If this is true, high inorganic aluminum fluxes are expected in North American Spodosols with similar acid inputs but with much lower contents of bases, than at HBEF.


Soil Solution Basic Cation Soil Solid Phase Soil Solution Chemistry Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Mulder
    • 1
  • N. van Breemen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Soil Science and GeologyAgricultural UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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