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Tree Ring Ca/Al as an Indicator of Historical Soil Acidification of Pinus Densiflora Forest in Southern Korea
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 Title & Authors
Tree Ring Ca/Al as an Indicator of Historical Soil Acidification of Pinus Densiflora Forest in Southern Korea
Lee, Kwang-Seung; Hung, Dinh Viet; Kwak, Jin-Hyeob; Lim, Sang-Sun; Lee, Kye-Han; Choi, Woo-Jung;
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BACKGROUND: Soil acidification, which is known to be one of the reasons of forest decline, is associated with decreases in exchangeable Ca and increases in Al concentration, leading to low Ca/Al ratio in soil solution. As tree rings are datable archives of environmental changes, Ca/Al ratios of annual growth ring may show decreasing pattern in accordance with the progress of soil acidification. This study was conducted to investigate Ca/Al pattern of Pinus densiflora tree ring in an attempt to test its usefulness as an indicator of historical soil acidification. METHODS AND RESULTS: Three P. densiflora tree disks were collected from P. densiflora forests in Jeonnam province, and soil samples (0-10, 10-20, and 20-30 cm in depth) were also collected from the tree locations. Soils were analyzed for pH and exchangeable Ca and Al concentrations, and Ca/Al was calculated. Annual growth rings formed between 1969 and 2007 were separated and analyzed for Ca/Al. Soil Ca/Al was positively (P<0.01) correlated with soil pH, suggesting that soil acidification decreased Ca while increasing Al availability, lowering Ca/Al in soil solution. The Ca/Al of tree rings also showed a decreasing pattern from 18.2 to 5.5 during the period, and this seemed to reflect historical acidification of the soils. CONCLUSION(s): The relationship between soil pH and Ca/Al and the decreasing pattern of Ca/Al of tree ring suggest that Ca/Al of tree ring needs to be considered as a proxy of the progress of soil acidification in P. densiflora forest in southern Korea.
Acidification;Annual growth ring;Ca-to-Al ratio;Red pine;Soil pH;
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