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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That low flow is the lowest sustaining flow during base runoff conditions of a river [16].?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms


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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for transformation (Keyword) returned 55 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 55
Speleogenesis in the Ljubljanica river drainage basin, 2000,
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Sustersic F.
The Ljubljanica is a typical sinking river, disappearing and reappearing on the surface seven times. Data from 1534 surveyed caves in the central part of the basin have been processed statistically. Fragments of horizontal caves are grouped in clearly expressed clusters. At least two of the clusters appear to have been separated apart along the Idrija strik-slip fault and displaced about 12 km. The spatial orientation of the clusters only vaguely fits the present hydrogeological situation, and it is suggested that the caves are relict or re-occupied voids that formed originally in circumstances different from those of today. Most of the caves have typical phreatic shapes, which are further modified into epiphreatic channels only where there has been considerable input of mechanically transported material. The general genetic pattern is: initiation along bedding planes; penetration into joints; expansion by collapse of crushed zones and along faults; filling of lower parts of the system with sediments and transformation into epiphreatic tunnels.

Introduction of wavelet analyses to rainfall/runoffs relationship for a karstic basin: The case of Licq-Atherey karstic system (France), 2001,
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Labat D. , Ababou R. , Mangin A. ,
Karstic systems are highly heterogeneous geological formations characterized by a multiscale temporal and spatial hydrologic behavior with more or less localized temporal and spatial structures. Classical correlation and spectral analyses cannot take into account these properties. Therefore, it is proposed to introduce a new kind of transformation: the wavelet transform. Here we focus particularly on the use of wavelets to study temporal behavior of local precipitation and watershed runoffs from a part of the karstic system. In the first part of the paper, a brief mathematical overview of the continuous Morlet wavelet transform and of the multiresolution analysis is presented. An analogy with spectral analyses allows the introduction of concepts such as wavelet spectrum and cross-spectrum. In the second part, classical methods (spectral and correlation analyses) and wavelet transforms are applied and compared for daily rainfall rates and runoffs measured on a French karstic watershed (Pyrenees) over a period of 30 years. Different characteristic time scales of the rainfall and runoff processes are determined, These time scales are typically on the order of a few days for floods, but they also include significant half-year and one-year components and multi-annual components. The multiresolution cross-analysis also provides a new interpretation of the impulse response of the system. To conclude, wavelet transforms provide a valuable amount of information, which may be now taken into account in both temporal and spatially distributed karst modeling of precipitation and runoff

Remote Sensing and GIS-Based Analysis of Cave Development in the Suoimuoi Catchment (Son La - NW Vietnam), 2002,
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Hung, L. Q. , Dinh, N. Q. , Batelaan, O. , Tam, V. T. , Lagrou, D.
Integration of remotely sensed imagery with ground surveys is a promising method in cave development studies. In this research a methodology was set up in which a variety of remote sensing and GIS techniques support cave analysis in the tropical karst area of the Suoimuoi catchment, NW Vietnam. In order to extract the maximum information from different remotely sensed data, the hue invariant IHS transformation was applied to integrate Landsat multispectral channels with the high resolution Landsat 7 ETM panchromatic channel. The resulting fused image was used, after enhancement, to visually and digitally extract lineaments. Aerial photos evaluated the extracted lineaments. Based on lineament density indices a fracture zone favorable for cave development is defined. The distance between caves and faults was investigated as well as the correspondence between the cave occurrence and the fracture zone.

Ochtina Aragonite Cave (Western Carpathians, Slovakia): Morphology, mineralogy of the fill and genesis, 2002,
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Bosak P, Bella P, Cilek V, Ford Dc, Hercman H, Kadlec J, Osborne A, Pruner P,
Ochtina Aragonite Cave is a 300 m long cryptokarstic cavity with simple linear sections linked to a geometrically irregular spongework labyrinth. The metalimestones, partly metasomatically altered to ankerite and siderite, occur as isolated lenses in insoluble rocks. Oxygen-enriched meteoric water seeping along the faults caused siderite/ankerite weathering and transformation to ochres that were later removed by mechanical erosion. Corrosion was enhanced by sulphide weathering of gangue minerals and by carbon dioxide released from decomposition of siderite/ankerite. The initial phreatic speleogens, older than 780 ka, were created by dissolution in density-derived convectional cellular circulation conditions of very slow flow. Thermohaline convection cells operating in the flooded cave might also have influenced its morphology. Later vadose corrosional events have altered the original form to a large extent. Water levels have fluctuated many times during its history as the cave filled during wet periods and then slowly drained. Mn-rich loams with Ni-bearing asbolane and bimessite were formed by microbial precipitation in the ponds remaining after the floods. Allophane was produced in the acidic environment of sulphide weathering. La-Nd-phosphate and REE enriched Mn-oxide precipitated on geochemical barriers in the asbolane layers. Ochres containing about 50 wt.% of water influence the cave microclimate and the precipitation of secondary aragonite. An oldest aragonite generation is preserved as corroded relics in ceiling niches truncated by corrosional bevels. Thermal ionisation mass spectrometry and alpha counting U series dating has yielded ages of about 500-450 and 138-121 ka, indicating that there have been several episodes of deposition, occurring during Quaternary warm periods (Elsterian 1/2, Eemian). Spiral and acicular forms representing a second generation began to be deposited in Late Glacial (14 ka - Allerod) times. The youngest aragonite, frostwork, continues to be deposited today. Both of the, younger generations have similar isotopic compositions, indicating that they originated in conditions very similar, or identical, to those found at present in the cave

Aragonite-Calcite Relationships in Speleothems (Grotte De Clamouse, France): Environment, Fabrics, and Carbonate Geochemistry, 2002,
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Frisia S, Borsato A, Fairchild Ij, Mcdermott F, Selmo Em,
In Grotte de Clamouse (France), aragonite forms in a variety of crystal habits whose properties reflect the conditions of formation. Prolonged degassing and evaporation yield needle aragonite, which is more enriched in 18O and 13C than aragonite ray crystals, which form near isotopic equilibrium. At present, aragonite ray crystals form at the tops of stalagmites at very low discharge (0.00035 ml/ min), and when fluid Mg/Ca ratio is > 1.1. Temperature and evaporation do not seem to have a significant role in their formation. The presence of aragonite in stalagmites should be indicative of a decrease in drip rate related to either dry climate conditions or local hydrology. Fossil aragonite was in part replaced by calcite in a time frame < 1.0 ka, possibly through the combined effects of dissolution of aragonite, and precipitation of calcite, which preferentially nucleated on calcite cements that had previously formed between aragonite rays. Commonly, the replacement phase inherited the textural and chemical characteristics of the precursor aragonite prisms and needles (and in particular the {delta}13C signal and U content), and preserved aragonite relicts (up to 16 weight %). The isotope signal of different aragonite habits may reflect conditions of formation rather than climate parameters. The real extent of aragonite-to-calcite transformation may be underestimated when replacement calcite inherits both textural and chemical properties of the precursor

Osovniška jama, the cave in isolated karst in the east of Slovenia, 2002,
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Zupan Hajna, Nadja

Osovniška jama has been discovered in 2001 during the exploitation of the Middle Miocene limestone in Pijevci quarry in the E part of Slovenia. Isolated subpanonian karst is typical of this part of Slovenia. This karst developed on small isolated patches of shallow limestone. Subpanonian isolated karst is a special type of karst on Lithothamnian limestone, where the surface karst forms are very well developed but no long caves were known. Osovniška jama is about 290 m long and now is the longest cave in this part of Slovenia. In this area the general dip of limestone beds is towards SE at dip angle 20°. The main tectonic structures of the area are in NW-SE and E-W directions. In the quarry, reef limestone is massive and fissured in E-W, NW-SE and N-S directions. The cave generally follows the NW-SE direction. The shape of channels still shows its formation in phreatic conditions; but mostly the transformation and formation of its channels in the vadose zone is expressed. At some time in this cave development allochtonous clastic sediments filled up the upper parts of the cave; afterwards they were almost entirely washed away. There are a lot of flowstone formations in this cave.


Paleokarst: cessation and rebirth?, 2003,
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Osborne, R. A. L.

The transformation of active karst into paleokarst by burial, isolation or cessation of process is not necessarily permanent. Paleokarst structures and landforms can be and are exhumed or reactivated, sometimes on numerous occasions. There is not a great deal of similarity between the localities where exhumation and reactivation of paleokarst has been reported. Exhumation and reactivation however have not been reported in many karsts that are similar to those where they have been reported. Exhumation and reactivation appears to be favoured in four situations: - the margins of sedimentary basins overlying grand unconformities, the axes of anticlines, narrow steeply-dipping impounded karsts and where paleokarst fill contains unstable minerals. Six processes are principally responsible for exhumation and reactivation: - per-ascensum speleogenesis, eustatic sea level changes, paragenesis, high density speleogenesis, glaciation, and large-scale meteoric speleogenesis. On some occasions karst landforms, particularly caves or segments of caves, may survive intact and unfilled for geologically significant periods of time. These may be completely isolated from the surface environment, or become reactivated by entrance formation due to breakdown, surface lowering or headward erosion. The intersection and reactivation of ancient open cavities and of exhumed cavities by “modern” caves may be much more common than is currently recognised. If caves have histories as long and as complex as the karsts in which they are developed then many “modern” caves will be composite features composed of interconnected “modern”, relict and exhumed cavities excavated at different times by different processes. Unravelling these histories is the new challenge facing cave science. It will require caves to be studied in a much more detailed, thorough and systematic manner and will also require the application of new technologies in surveying, analysis and dating


Surface and subsurface environmental degradation in the karst of Apulia (southern Italy), 2003,
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Parise M. , Pascali V. ,
Karst environments are highly vulnerable to a variety of degradation and pollution problems. Geology (fractured carbonate rocks), morphology (presence of a network of cavities produced by karst processes), and hydrogeology (rapid concentrated flow through fractures and conduits) of karst carbonates strongly favour the movement of contaminants towards the water table. In particular, poor quality of subsurface water can derive from polluting substances flowing at the surface, and/or by direct immission of liquid and solid waste into the water table through the systems of conduits and joints in the rock mass. As a consequence, water quality can deteriorate severely, which implies very high economic and social costs in order to clean the polluted sites and restore the original situation. In some cases, such as when the original karst morphology is changed because of anthropogenic interventions, the variations created in the landscape are not recoverable, and a loss of sites of naturalistic interest has to be registered. High vulnerability of a typical karst region of the Mediterranean area is illustrated in this paper by describing some case studies from Apulia, southern Italy. The Apulia region, where karst processes have had a prominent role in the development of the present landscape, is mostly underlain by intensely karstified limestone. Two cases of pollution due to solid waste into karst cavities (Grave di S. Leonardo in the Gargano Promontory and Grave Pelosello in the Murge plateau), landscape transformation in the Minervino Murge area, and degradation of Gravina Monsignore, a typical karst valley in southeastern Murge, are described in the paper. In two out of four cases, degradation of the sites was discovered thanks to activity from local speleologists, who also acted as promoters for cleaning and safeguarding the polluted sites. These examples underline well the mismanagement of karst territories (in particular, the common practice to dump refuse into sinkholes and caves), the pollution of limestone aquifers, and the effects that such pollution in karst areas might have in terms of the risk to public health

Structural Features of Cultural Landscape in the Karst Area (landscape in transition), 2003,
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Anič, Ić, Branka, Perica Draž, En

During a long historical continuity in the karst area a specific landscape type has evolved due to varied climatic, geomorphological, topographic as well as socio-economic conditions. This is characterized by great typological diversity based on authentic features both of natural and cultural origin. These have occurred as a consequence of balanced economic land-uses from early periods on. The main quality of these landscapes is derived from unique agricultural land-use patterns, which constitute one of the most valuable spatial heritages in the entire Mediterranean. However, the recent evolution, mainly in the socio-economic sphere, generated far-reaching impacts in the rural areas which largely affect the integrity and traditional harmony the karst countryside in general and the landscape in particular. The basic intention of the paper is to outline these transformations as a serious threat and immense loss of the national cultural heritage and to emphasize the great responsibility of this generation in these processes.


Palaeolithic painting matter: natural or heat-treated pigment?, 2004,
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Chalmin E, Vignaud C, Menu M,
Analyses of archaeological materials attempt to rediscover the know-how of Prehistoric men by determining the nature of the matter, its preparation mode, and its geographic origin. The preparation mode of painting matter of Palaeolithic rock art consisted not only in mixing and grinding but also in heat-treatment. Palaeolithic painters used two main colors: red (iron oxide, hematite) and black (charcoal or manganese oxide). The different phases of manganese oxides can be distinguished using their elemental composition, their structure and the oxidation state of the Mn ion (II, III, IV). Their transformation during heat-treatment has been studied on mineralogical reference samples by means of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) either coupled or not with a heating stage (in situ). These studies have enabled us to understand the transformation mechanisms of manganese oxides and also to gain insights into the preparation procedures of painting materials during the Palaeolithic period. The painting samples studied in this paper come from the cave of Lascaux (Dordogne, France). These studies allow us to distinguish between natural or heat-treated manganese oxides

Degradates provide insight to spatial and temporal trends of herbicides in ground water, 2004,
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Kolpin D. K. , Schnoebelen D. J. , Thurman E. M. ,
Since 1995, a network of municipal wells in Iowa, representing all major aquifer types (alluvial, bedrock/karst region, glacial drift, bedrock/nonkarst region), has been repeatedly sampled for a broad suite of herbicide compounds yielding one of the most comprehensive statewide databases of such compounds currently available in the United States. This dataset is ideal for documenting the insight that herbicide degradates provide to the spatial and temporal distribution of herbicides in ground water. During 2001, 86 municipal wells in Iowa were sampled and analyzed for 21 herbicide parent compounds and 24 herbicide degradates. The frequency of detection increased from 17% when only herbicide parent compounds were considered to 53% when both herbicide parents and degradates were considered. Thus, the transport of herbicide compounds to ground water is substantially underestimated when herbicide degradates are not considered. A significant difference in the results among the major aquifer types was apparent only when both herbicide parent compounds and their degradates were considered. In addition, including herbicide degradates greatly improved the statistical relation to the age of the water being sampled. When herbicide parent compounds are considered, only 40% of the wells lacking a herbicide detection could be explained by the age of the water predating herbicide use. However, when herbicide degradates were also considered, 80% of the ground water samples lacking a detection could be explained by the age of the water predating herbicide use. Finally, a temporal pattern in alachlor concentrations in ground water could only be identified when alachlor degradates were considered

Der Naturzustand der sterreichischen Hhlen - Vollerhebung in den Testgebieten Hochtor, Brgeralpe und Anninger., 2005,
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Herrmann, E.
The first part of a study concerning the status of naturalness (virginity) of Austrian caves comprises overall statistics of three cave regions in Styria and Lower Austria differing in geomorphology and land use. Except in high alpine areas nearly no cave was kept free of human influence if not transformation. Regarding the different motives, the influence of tourism is widespread but never destructive to caves while extraction of raw materials especially in quarries damaged a considerable part of all registered caves. Other cave uses are only of historic interest (like housing, defence) or were never of great importance (like traffic). This paper demonstrates that each karst region shows the effects of its specific human stress on caves. Unfortunately those caves held most important as well as those with large entrances are at the same time most endangered regarding all important aspects: their morphological integrity, their ecological functionality and their aesthetic attractiveness. The rather uniform legislation of cave protection that we have at present is quite unsuitable to guard against the manifold threats caves are facing today. So there is an urgent need for much more diversified strategies and provisions to conserve at least a few remarkable caves in their originality.[Vollerhebung von 120 Hhlen zeigt erhebliche Differenzen im Ausma der menschlichen Einflussnahme auf den unterirdischen Naturraum; Auswertung nach Eingriffsursachen, Hufigkeit der Eingriffe, Eingriffscharakteristik und Regenerierbarkeit auch im Hinblick auf Lage und Erreichbarkeit der Eingnge]

Ochtin Aragonite Cave (Slovakia): morphology, mineralogy and genesis, 2005,
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Bosk P. , Bella P. , Cilek V. , Ford D. C. , Hercman H. , Kadlec J. , Osborne A. , Pruner P. ,

Ochtiná Aragonite Cave is a 300 m long cryptokarstic cavity with simple linear sections linked to a geometrically irregular spongework labyrinth. The limestones, partly metasomatically altered to ankerite and siderite, occur as lenses in insoluble rocks. Oxygen-enriched meteoric water seeping along the faults caused siderite/ankerite weathering and transformation to ochres that were later removed by mechanical erosion. Corrosion was enhanced by sulphide weathering of gangue minerals and by carbon dioxide released from decomposition of siderite/ankerite. The initial phreatic speleogens, older than 780 ka, were created by dissolution in density-derived convectional cellular circulation conditions of very slow flow. Thermohaline convection cells operating in the flooded cave might also have influenced its morphology. Later vadose corrosional events have altered the original form to a large extent. Water levels have fluctuated many times during its history as the cave filled during wet periods and then slowly drained.
Mn-rich loams with Ni-bearing asbolane and birnessite were formed by microbial precipitation in the ponds remaining after the floods. Allophane was produced in the acidic environment of sulphide weathering. La-Nd-phosphate and REE enriched Mn-oxide precipitated on geochemical barriers in the asbolane layers. Ochres containing about 50 wt.% of water influence the cave microclimate and the precipitation of secondary aragonite. An oldest aragonite generation is preserved as corroded relics in ceiling niches truncated by corrosional bevels. TIMS and alpha counting U series dating has yielded ages of about 500-450 and 138-121 ka, indicating that there have been several episodes of deposition, occurring during Quaternary warm periods (Elsterian 1/2, Eemian). Spiral and acicular forms representing a second generation began to be deposited in Late Glacial (14 ka – Alleröd) times. The youngest aragonite, frostwork, continues to be deposited today. Both of the younger generations have similar isotopic compositions, indicating that they originated in conditions very similar, or identical, to those found at present in the cave.


Sources and processes affecting sulfate in a karstic groundwater system of the Franconian Alb, southern Germany, 2005,
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Einsiedl F, Mayer B,
Chemical and isotope analyses on groundwater sulfate and H-3 measurements on groundwater were used to determine the sulfate sources and sulfur transformation processes in a heterogeneous karst aquifer of the Franconian Alb, southern Germany. Sulfate was found to be derived from atmospheric deposition. Young groundwater was characterized by high sulfate concentrations and delta(34)S values similar to those of recent atmospheric sulfate deposition. However,the delta(18)O values of groundwater SO42- were depleted by several per mil with respect to those of atmospheric deposition. This isotopic shift is indicative of mineralization of carbon-bonded S in the vadose zone of the karst system. In groundwater with mean residence times of more than 60 years, a trend of increasing delta(34)S values and 6180 values with decreasing sulfate concentrations was observed. This trend could not be solely explained by preindustrial atmospheric sulfate deposition with higher delta(34)S values, and hence, we conclude that bacterial (dissimilatory) sulfate reduction in the porous matrix of the karst aquifer must have occurred. This process has the potential to contribute to long-term biodegradation of contaminants in the porous rock matrix representing the dominant water reservoir of the fissured porous karst aquifer

Land use change and soil nutrient transformations in the Los Haitises region of the Dominican Republic, 2005,
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Templer P. H. , Groffman P. M. , Flecker A. S. , Power A. G. ,
We characterized soil cation, carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) transformations within a variety of land use types in the karst region of the northeastern Dominican Republic. We examined a range of soil pools and fluxes during the wet and dry seasons in undisturbed forest, regenerating forest and active agricultural sites within and directly adjacent to Los Haitises National Park. Soil moisture, soil organic matter (SOM), soil cations, leaf litter C and pH were significantly greater in regenerating forest sites than agricultural sites, while bulk density was greater in active agricultural sites. Potential denitrification, microbial biomass C and N, and microbial respiration g(-1) dry soil were significantly greater in the regenerating forest sites than in the active agricultural sites. However, net mineralization, net nitrification, microbial biomass C, and microbial respiration were all significantly greater in the agricultural sites on g(-1) SOM basis. These results suggest that land use is indirectly affecting microbial activity and C storage through its effect on SOM quality and quantity. While agriculture can significantly decrease soil fertility, it appears that the trend can begin to rapidly reverse with the abandonment of agriculture and the subsequent regeneration of forest. The regenerating forest soils were taken out of agricultural use only 5-7 years before our study and already have soil properties and processes similar to an undisturbed old forest site. Compared to undisturbed mogote forest sites, regenerating sites had smaller amounts of SOM and microbial biomass N, as well as lower rates of microbial respiration, mineralization and nitrification g(-1) SOM. Initial recovery of soil pools and processes appeared to be rapid, but additional research must be done to address the long-term rate of recovery in these forest stands. (C) 2004, Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

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