The effect of simulated acid rain on pine needle and birch leaf litter decomposition.

Published online
21 Mar 1992
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Neuvonen, S. & Suomela, J.

Publication language
Finland & Nordic Countries


In field experiments in N. Finland, 80 study plots (5×5 m) in mixed pine (Pinus sylvestris)/mountain birch (Betula tortuosa) woodland were irrigated with spring water (pH 6 - wet control) or acid water (pH 4 or 3) or untreated (dry control). Mass loss of pine litter was affected by treatment and vegetation type on the plot: wetter sites had greater mass loss and this was lower still in later stages of decomposition with acid treatments. Birch litter decomposition was retarded in acid treated plots, although not always significantly.

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