Dynamics of forest soil chemistry

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


Acidification caused by emissions of Nitrogen and Sulphur and associated adverse effects on forest ecosystems has been an issue on the political agenda for decades. Temporal aspects of soil acidification and/or recovery can be investigated using the soil chemistry model SAFE, a dynamic version of the steady-state model PROFILE used in critical loads assessment on the national level, e.g. for Sweden.

In this thesis, possibilities to replace the use of apparent gibbsite solubility coefficients with a more mechanistic Al submodel are investigated and a reconstruction model, MAKEDEP, is presented which makes hindcasts and forecasts of atmospheric deposition and nutrient uptake and cycling. A regional application of SAFE/MAKEDEP based on 622 sites in Switzerland is also presented.

It is concluded that the quantitative information on pools and fluxes of Al in forest ecosystems is very limited and that there currently exists no mechanistic alternative in modelling soil solution Al.

MAKEDEP is a valuable and operational tool for deriving input to dynamic soil chemistry models such as SMART, MAGIC and SAFE. For multi-layer models, e.g. the SAFE model, including nutrient cycling in MAKEDEP is shown to be important.

The strength of the regional assessment strategy presented in this thesis lies in its transparency and modularity. All submodules, including models, transfer functions, assumptions in the data acquisition strategy, etc., can be checked and replaced individually. As the presented assessment strategy is based on knowledge and data from a wide range of scientists and fields it is of vital importance that the research community challenge the assumptions made. The many measurable intermediate results produced by the included models will hopefully encourage scientists to challenge the models through additional measurements at the calculation sites.

It is concluded that current reduction plans are not sufficient for all forest ecosystems in Switzerland to recover from acidification. Accordning to model projections, nearly 40 % of the sites will have a base cation to Al ratio below one by year 2050.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Division of Chemical Engineering
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1998 Nov 27
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 1998-11-27
Time: 10:15
Place: Kemicentrum KC, Lund

External reviewer(s)

Name: de Vries, Wim
Title: Dr
Affiliation: Winand Staring Centre, The Netherlands


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Chemical Engineering

Free keywords

  • Chemical technology and engineering
  • critical loads
  • regional
  • recovery
  • acidification
  • modelling
  • SAFE
  • Kemiteknik och kemisk teknologi
  • Environmental technology
  • pollution control
  • Miljöteknik
  • kontroll av utsläpp


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