Soil nutrient bioavailability and nutrient content of pine trees (Pinus thunbergii) in areas impacted by acid deposition in Korea

Jae E. Yang, Yong Sik Ok, Wi Young Lee, Jeffrey Skousen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Acid deposition has caused detrimental effects on tree growth near industrial areas of the world. Preliminary work has indicated that concentrations of NO3-, SO42-, F- and Al in soil solutions were 2 to 33 times higher in industrial areas compared to non-industrial areas in Korea. This study evaluated soil nutrient bioavailability and nutrient contents of red pine (Pinus thunbergii) needles in forest soils of industrial and non-industrial areas of Korea. Results confirm that forest soils of industrial areas have been acidified mainly by deposition of sulfate, resulting in increases of Al, Fe and Mn and decreases of Ca, Mg and K concentrations in soils and soil solutions. In soils of industrial areas, the molar ratios of Ca/Al and Mg/Al in forest soils were <2, which can lead to lower levels and availability of nutrients for tree growth. The Ca/Al molar ratio of Pinus thunbergii needles on non-industrial sites was 15, while that of industrial areas was 10. Magnesium concentrations in needles of Pinus thunbergii were lower in soils of industrial areas and the high levels of acid cations such as Al and Mn in these soils may have antagonized the uptake of base cations like Mg. Continued acidification can further reduce uptake of base cations by trees. Results show that Mg deficiency and high concentrations of Al and Mn in soil solution can be limiting factors for Pinus thunbergii growth in industrial areas of Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This research was supported by a grant (Code# 2–2–3) from Sustainable Water Resources Center of 21st Century Frontier Research Program.


  • Acid deposition
  • Ca/Al molar ratio
  • Forest soils
  • Soil acidification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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