Weathering versus atmospheric sources of strontium in ecosystems on young volcanic soils

Peter M. Vitousek*, Martin J. Kennedy, Louis A. Derry, Oliver A. Chadwick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


We used isotopes of Sr to quantify weathering versus atmospheric sources of foliar Sr in 34 Hawaiian forests on young volcanic soils. The forests varied widely in climate, and in lava flow age and texture. Weathering supplied most of the Sr in most of the sites, but atmospheric deposition contributed 30-50% of foliar Sr in the wettest rainforests. A stepwise multiple regression using annual precipitation, distance from the ocean, and texture of the underlying lava explained 76% of the variation in Sr isotope ratios across the sites. Substrate age did not contribute significantly to variation in Sr isotope ratios in the range of ages evaluated here (11-3000 years), although atmospheric sources eventually dominate pools of biologically available Sr in Hawaiian rainforests in older substrates (≥150,000 years).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-259
Number of pages5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Atmospheric inputs
  • Ecosystem development
  • Hawaii
  • Metrosideros polymorpha
  • Rock weathering


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