Guo,J., Zhang,X., Vogt,R.D., Xiao,J., Zhao,D., Xiang,R. and Luo,J.(2007): Evaluating main factors controlling aluminum solubility in acid forest soils, southern and southwestern China. Applied Geochemistry, 22, 388-396.


 The mechanism controlling Al solubility in Chinese acidic forest soils is not clearly understood. This is the main limitation to the ability to generate adequate dose-response prediction models of the ecological effect of acid rain. To evaluate the relative significance of possible processes, soils and soil solutions from five forest catchments, located in southern and southwestern China, were collected and analyzed for chemical parameters. Monitoring showed that inorganic Al(Ali) was the dominant fraction in most soil solutions; organic Al (Alo) was usually less than 10% of total monometric Al (Ala). Aluminum fractions varied significantly between and within the different sites, though appearing to follow a similar pattern. Over the entire pH range of 3.6-5.6, the pAl (i.e. -log of the Al3+ activity) closely correlated with solution pH, following regression slopes of 1.28 and 2.00 for upper and lower soil horizons, respectively. The variations in Al3+ activity could not be explained satisfactorily using mineral dissolution equilibria. Partial least square (PLS) regression showed that soil acidity (quality) and ionic strength (intensity) of the solution were the main explanatory variables for the variation in the concentration of Al fractions. Aluminum in upper horizons originated from both organic and inorganic solid Al pools, while aqueous Al in lower horizons was dominantly of inorganic origin. Aluminum solubility was strongly influenced by cation exchanges, especially in the upper horizon. In the upper horizon, ionic strength (I )』 had a greater influence on Al solubility due to cation exchange reaction. In the lower horizon, dissolution of inorganic Al pools by the elevated H+ concentrations was the main Al release mechanism. So Al activity was more dependent on H+ (or pH) in the lower horizon.

1. Introduction
2. Materials and methods
 2.1. Site description
 2.2. Sampling and analysis
 2.3. Partial least square (PLS) regression and data compilation
3. Results and discussion
 3.1. Aqueous aluminum fractions
 3.2. Equilibria with possible mineral phases
 3.3. PLS regression analysis
4. Conclusions