Forest clearcutting effects on trace metal concentrations: Spatial patterns in soil solutions and streams

R. D. Fuller, D. M. Simone, C. T. Driscoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Increased concentrations of solutes in drainage waters following forest clearcutting may affect downstream water quality. The objective of this study was to evaluate some of the processes regulating concentrations of trace metals and Fe in soil solutions and streamwater in a clearcut watershed by determining changes in metal release by soil horizon, stand vegetation and elevation. Commercial whole-tree harvesting of a watershed at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, NH, U.S.A. resulted in increased loss of NOinf3sup- from the study watershed. This N0inf3sup- loss resulted in acidification of soil solutions, which was associated with release of Mn and Zn from mineral soil to soil solutions and streamwater. Significant correlations of Pb and Fe with dissolved organic C (DOC) suggested that mobilization of these metals was linked to DOC transfer. However, there was little evidence of increased release of DOC, Fe, or Pb following the whole-tree harvest, except in a high elevation spruce-fir zone with shallow soils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Volume40
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution

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