Aluminum toxicity in forests exposed to acidic deposition: The ALBIOS results

Christopher S. Cronan, Richard April, Richmond J. Bartlett, Paul R. Bloom, Charles T. Driscoll, Steven A. Gherini, Gray S. Henderson, J. D. Joslin, J. M. Kelly, Roderic A. Parnell, Howard H. Patterson, Dudley J. Raynal, Michail Schaedle, Carl L. Schofield, Edward I. Sucoff, Herbert B. Tepper, Frank C. Thornton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


The ALBIOS project was conducted to examine the influence of acidic deposition on aluminum transport and toxicity in forested ecosystems of eastern North America and northern Europe. Patterns of aluminum chemistry were evaluated in 14 representative watersheds exposed to different levels of sulfur deposition. Controlled studies with solution and soil culture methods were used to test interspecific differences in aluminum sensitivity for one indicator species (honeylocust - Gleditsia triacanthos L. ) and six commercial tree species (red spruce - Picea rubens Sarg., red oak - Quercus rubra L., sugar maple - Acer saccharum Marsh., American beech - Fagus grandifolia Ehrh., European beech - Fagus sylvatica, and loblolly pine - Pinus Taeda L. ). Overall, red spruce was the tree species whose growth was most sensitive to soluble aluminum, with significant biomass reductions occurring at Al concentrations of approximately 200-250 umol/L. Analyses of soil solutions from the field sites indicated that the conditions for aluminum toxicity for some species exist at some of the study areas. At these watersheds, aluminum toxicity could act as a contributing stress factor affecting forest growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-192
Number of pages12
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution


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