Publication Details

Wetfall deposition and precipitation chemistry for a central Appalachian forest

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Gilliam, Frank S.; Adams, Mary Beth

Year Published

1996

Publication

Journal of Air and Waste Management Association. 46: 978-984.

Abstract

Although extensive research on acidic deposition has been directed toward spruce-fir forests, less research has been done on the impacts of air pollution on eastern montane hardwood forests. The purpose of this study was to describe precipitation chemistry for several Appalachian hardwood forest sites at or near the Fernow Experimental Forest (FEF) to assess the potential for problems associated with acidic deposition. Emphasis was placed on seasonal patterns of ionic concentrations (H+, Ca++, NH4+, NO3-, and S04=) and spatial variability of ionic concentrations and deposition among sites. Seasonal patterns of most ions showed highest concentrations during the summer months and deposition of H+ was especially pronounced during this time. Deposition of all ions was generally greater (related to greater precipitation) at three montane forested sample sites compared to a nonforested riverbottom site. Precipitation chemistry at FEF was similar to other sites throughout the eastern United States and contrasted sharply with mid-western and western sites. Eastern sites, including means for FEF sites, were unifonnly 3-4 times higher in H+ and S04= concentration than the mid-western and western sites. Precipitation at FEF was chronically acidic, more so during the growing season, and highest at higher elevations where environmental stresses can be most severe. Furthermore, there were occasional large discrepancies between the low-elevation site and the higher-elevation forested sites for precipitation chemistry and acidic deposition. These results suggest that synoptic-scale (network) data may greatly underestimate the pollutant conditions to which highelevation forest trees are exposed, since network data rarely take elevation into account and typically are based on annual ionic concentration and deposition means that may be considerably lower than those of the growing season.

Citation

Gilliam, Frank S.; Adams, Mary Beth. 1996. Wetfall deposition and precipitation chemistry for a central Appalachian forest. Journal of Air and Waste Management Association. 46: 978-984.

Last updated on: December 28, 2016