Artificial watershed acidification on the Fernow Experimental Forest, USA

M. B. Adams, P. J. Edwards, F. Wood, J. N. Kochenderfer

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41 Scopus citations


A whole-watershed manipulation project was begun on the Fernow Experimental Forest in West Virginia, USA, in 1987, with the objective of increasing understanding of the effects of acidic deposition on forest ecosystems. Two treatment watersheds (WS9 and WS3) and one control watershed (WS4) were included. Treatments were twice-ambient N and S deposition, applied via NH4SO4 fertilizer, with three applications per year. Three years of pretreatment data were collected and used for calibration. Stream water chemistry data collected during 3 years of treatment were evaluated. Stream water pH and electrical conductivity were not significantly affected by the elevated N and S inputs on either treatment watershed. On WS9, there were no statistically significant treatment effects on stream water export of Ca, SO4, or NO3. On WS3, however, stream export of both NO3 and Ca have increased as a result of acidification treatments. The implications of these results are discussed. Research is continuing so that the processes involved may be elucidated. In addition, effects on vegetation, aquatic invertebrates and amphibians also are being evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-519
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Issue number2-4
StatePublished - Oct 1 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology


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