Navigation Links
Acid soils in Slovakia tell somber tale
Date:11/17/2008

Increasing levels of nitrogen deposition associated with industry and agriculture can drive soils toward a toxic level of acidification, reducing plant growth and polluting surface waters, according to a new study published online in Nature Geoscience.

The study, conducted in the Tatra Mountains of Slovakia by the University of Colorado, University of Montana, Slovak Academy of Sciences, and the U.S. Geological Survey, shows what can happen when nitrogen deposition in any part of the world increases to certain levels levels similar to those projected to occur in parts of Europe by 2050, according to some global change models.

On the basis of these results, the authors warn that the high levels of nitrogen deposited in Europe and North America over the past half century already may have left many soils susceptible to this new stage of acidification. The results of this further acidification, wrote the authors, are highly reduced soil fertility and leaching of acids and toxic metals into surface waters.

A long history of human-influenced nitrogen deposition has left soils in the Western Tatra Mountains of Slovakia highly acidic. The study reveals that the increased nitrogen load in the region triggers the release of soluble iron into alpine grassland soils. This iron release is indicative of extreme soil acidification, comparable to conditions seen in soils exposed to acid mine drainage.

"Recovery from such extreme chemical change could only occur in geologic time, which is why soil is considered a non-renewable resource," said USGS scientist Jill Baron, who helped analyze and interpret the study results.

In addition to this research, Dr. Baron has investigated the impacts of nitrogen deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park for 26 years. "The Rocky Mountains and the Tatra Mountains represent the two ends of the atmospheric deposition effects trajectory," Dr. Baron said. "The effects of nitrogen deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park are just beginning to be observed, allowing resource managers the opportunity to help the region recover if deposition is reduced. In the Tatra Mountains National Park, however, soils are far beyond natural recovery in human time frames."

Much of the eastern U.S. and Northern Europe fall in the middle of the effects spectrum, she added.

Rocky Mountain and Tatra National Parks are sister parks, with scientists and managers beginning to cooperate in studies to understand both. Dr. Baron's work in Rocky Mountain National Park led to the establishment of a nitrogen threshold for the park in 2006, the first time the nation has established a critical load of a pollutant for any park environment. An agreement in 2007 between the Environmental Protection Agency, National Park Service, and Colorado Department of Health and Environment enabled the agencies to set target loads for reducing nitrogen emissions by 2012 to improve ecological conditions.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jill Baron
jill_baron@usgs.gov
970-491-1968
United States Geological Survey
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientists map soils on an extinct American volcano
2. Measuring calcium in serpentine soils
3. Experts to provide peek of Smithsonian soils exhibit
4. Senate resolution shines spotlight on the importance of soils
5. Reforestation using exotic plants can disturb the fertility of tropical soils
6. Specially-designed soils could help combat climate change
7. Compost can turn agricultural soils into a carbon sink, thus protecting against climate change
8. Tropical soils impede landmine detection
9. Earths soils bear unmistakable footprints of humans
10. Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa commits 180M to revive farmers depleted soils
11. New insights into the fate of antiparasitics in manure and manured soils
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/1/2016)... NEW YORK , June 1, 2016 ... Biometric Technology in Election Administration and Criminal Identification to ... According to a recently released TechSci Research report, " ... Sector, By Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - ... $ 24.8 billion by 2021, on account of growing ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... May 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC , a ... the opening of an IoT Center of Excellence in ... expand the development of embedded iris biometric applications. ... of convenience and security with unmatched biometric accuracy, making ... aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video technology to ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric ... Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a complete system ... ABIS can process multiple complex biometric transactions with ... fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It leverages the ... MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been used ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics ... development and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class ... Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting ... significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 ... for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA ... Technical Leader at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a ... STACS DNA team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Andrew D Zelenetz , ... Published recently in Oncology & ... Andrew D Zelenetz , discusses the fact ... placing an increasing burden on healthcare systems worldwide, ... the patents on many biologics expiring, interest in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: