KEY ELEMENTS OF LANDSCAPES CONDITION THE STORAGE AND MOBILITY OF SOIL NUTRIENTS IN MOUNTAINOUS ECOSYSTEMS OF THE WESTERN U.S
In general, soils located on mountain ridges gained volume and mass during pedogenesis as compared to the soils original parent material. 75% of all mountain ridge sites gained Ca. These data suggest that atmospheric deposition may play a significant role in the development of soils in these landscape positions. The majority of soils (88%) along side slopes experienced losses with respect to Ca and K. Soils along valley bottoms had gains of major soil nutrients such as Ca, K, and P. Organic matter rich soils, which occupy the lower and wetter portions of catenary sequences, contain a large reservoir of mobilized nutrients and act as biological buffers for nutrient delivery to tributaries and main stream channels. The distribution of elements along soil catenas and mineralogical alterations suggest that soils at FEF are subjected to substantial nutrient inputs from atmospheric deposition and that the coupling of hydrologic and biogeochemical cycles are conditioned by biological and pedological processes in key landscape elements of watersheds.