Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2007 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Landuse effects on surface soil metal and nutrient concentration in Washington, D.C.
Grese, Melissa
Co-Authors: Melissa Grese, Ian Yesilonis, Richard Pouyat
Abstract: Soils located in metropolitan areas are known to be contaminated by metals. In this poster, we evaluate soil metal and nutrient concentrations in Washington, D.C. as part of a study involving Urban Forest Effects Model, a computer model that analyzes the structure and environmental effects and values of urban forests. We investigated the spatial distribution of the metals Al, P, S, Ti, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Mo, Pb, Cd, Na, Mg, K, Ca, As, V, B, Cr, Zn, Sr, Li, Be, Sb, and Ba in surface soils of 129 plots randomly stratified by landuse. Each plot was categorized as one of nine land-uses: federal/institutional, park/recreation/open space, local public, industrial, commercial, mixed, residential low-density, residential medium-density, and residential high-density. The Piedmont region contained 54 plots, and 75 plots fell within the Coastal Plain region. Soils were collected in the summer of 2004 and digested with a strong acid, which provides an indication of the environmentally available fraction. We found that average concentrations of Al, Fe, Ni, Pb, and As differed significantly among land-uses. The highest concentrations of Fe, Ni, Pb, and As were associated with industrial plots, whereas Al was shown in the highest concentrations for both high- and medium-density residential plots. Furthermore, Washington, D.C. results were compared to Baltimore city soil metal and nutrient concentrations from past studies. Our results showed that the median concentrations of Pb, Ni, Ca, and K were higher in Washington, D.C.