Effects of calcium treatment on forest floor organic matter composition along an elevation gradient

Ankit Balaria, Chris E. Johnson, Peter M. Groffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Calcium amendment is a restorative option for nutrient-depleted, acidic soils in the forests of the northeastern United States. We studied the effects of watershed-scale wollastonite (CaSiO3) application on the structural composition of soil organic matter (SOM) and hot-water-extractable organic matter (HWEOM) at the Hubbard Brook Experiment Forest in New Hampshire 7-9 years after treatment, along an elevation gradient. Soils in the high-elevation spruce-fir-birch (SFB) zone contained significantly greater amounts of HWEOM compared with lower elevation hardwood soils, likely due to differences in litter quality and slower decomposition rates in colder soils at higher elevation. The only significant difference in hot-water-extractable organic carbon concentration between reference and calcium-treated watersheds was in Oie horizons of the SFB zone, which also exhibited the greatest degree of soil chemical change after treatment. The 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra showed no significant patterns in O-alkyl C abundance for either soil or HWEOM along the elevation gradient, suggesting that there were no elevation-related patterns in carbohydrate concentration. The general absence of long-term effects in this study suggests that effects of Ca amendment at this dosage on the composition of SOM were small or short-lived.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)969-976
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Calcium
  • Liming
  • NMR spectroscopy
  • Soil carbon
  • Soil organic matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Forestry
  • Ecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of calcium treatment on forest floor organic matter composition along an elevation gradient'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this