Atmospheric Deposition and Canopy Interactions of Major Ions in a Forest

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  10 Jan 1986:
Vol. 231, Issue 4734, pp. 141-145
DOI: 10.1126/science.231.4734.141


Airborne particles and vapors contributed significantly to the nutrient requirements and the pollutant load of a mixed hardwood forest in the eastern United States. Dry deposition was an important mechanism of atmospheric input to the foliar canopy, occurring primarily by vapor uptake for sulfur, nitrogen, and free acidity and by particle deposition for calcium and potassium. The canopy retained 50 to 70 percent of the deposited free acidity and nitrogen, but released calcium and potassium. Atmospheric deposition supplied 40 and 100 percent of the nitrogen and sulfur requirements, respectively, for the annual woody increment. This contribution was underestimated significantly by standard bulk deposition collectors.