Lead Scientist(s): Dr Gary M Lovett
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We have observed a decline in total (wet + dry) atmospheric deposition of both nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) since we began measurements in 1988 (Kelly et al 2002). There have been corresponding declines in fluxes of N and S in throughfall and of S in soil leachate (see graphs below). The fact that S leaching is substantially higher than S deposition suggests that mineral weathering contributes S to this ecosystem. There is minimal leaching of N, suggesting almost complete retention of N under current deposition conditions. With addition of nitrogen through experimental fertilization, nitrate leaching is accelerated, the soils become acidified, and tree mortality increases (Wallace et al. 2007).