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Patterns and mechanisms of soil acidification in the conversion of grasslands to forests

Jobbágy, EG, RB Jackson
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Forest-grassland conversions currently affect some of the world’s most productive regions and have the potential to modify many soil properties. We used afforestation of native ecosystems in the Pampas, a temperate humid grassland in central Argentina, as an experimental system to 1) isolate forest and grassland imprints on soil acidity and base cation cycling and 2) evaluate the mechanisms explaining soil acidification. We characterized soil changes with afforestation using ten paired stands of native grassland and Eucalyptus plantations (10-100 years of age). Compared to grasslands, afforested stands had lower soil pH (4.6 vs. 5.6, p

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