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Distribution and variability of some chemical parameters in the soils of a forested hillslope Rollerson, Terrence Paul


Trends in soil chemistry are studied on a 300 meter long hillslope in the Cascade Mountain Range of southwestern British Columbia. Although trends are not wholly consistent from horizon to horizon, the following general statements can be made: pH tends to increase downslope; exchangeable calcium, exchangeable magnesium and cation exchange capacity decrease noticeably downslope; carbon may decrease slightly downslope; nitrogen, carbon/nitrogen ratio, percent base saturation, exchangeable sodium and exchangeable potassium remain effectively constant downslope. Soil chemistry is shown to be related to horizon, slope position and parent material. Variability among chemical species increases in the sequence: pH, percent base saturation, carbon/nitrogen ratio, cation exchange capacity, nitrogen, exchangeable calcium, percent carbon, exchangeable potassium, exchangeable sodium, exchangeable magnesium. Variability fluctuates among soil horizons but not so noticeably with slope position. A slight increase in variability with the size of the area sampled is evident.

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