Skip to main content Accessibility help

Chemistry of bulk precipitation in southwestern Viti Levu, Fiji

  • M. J. Waterloo (a1), J. Schelleken (a1), L. A. Bruijnzeel (a1), H. F. Vugts (a1), P. N. Assenberg (a1) and T. T. Rawaqa (a2)...


The amounts and chemical composition of bulk precipitation were investigated over a continuous 21-mo period (January 1990 to September 1991) at four sites along an East-West transect perpendicular to the coast of Southwest Viti Levu, Fiji. Measured rainfall totals in 1990 ranged from 1796 mm at the coastal Korokula station to 2113 mm at the inland Tulasewa station, which is somewhat higher than the long-term average of 1707 mm at a reference weather station located in the centre of the study area. The first 9 mo of 1991 were relatively dry (range 1027–1533 mm) with a total of 1157 mm at the reference site as compared to a long-term average of 1330 mm. Concentrations of all investigated constituents in bulk rainfall were low, except during the passage of cyclone Sina due to the deposition of large amounts of, especially, chloride, sodium and sulphate in sea spray. Concentrations of sodium and magnesium could be explained fully by maritime contributions to the rainfall composition at all sites. Maritime contributions to the concentrations of calcium, sulphate and potassium accounted for 10–40% of the total, whereas bicarbonate, ammonium, nitrate, silicon, aluminium, iron and manganese were derived exclusively from terrestrial sources. The annual atmospheric nutrient deposition rates were low by pan-tropical standards, particularly when the contribution of cyclone Sina was excluded. Annual totals (in kg ha−1) ranged from 2.4–8.8 for nitrogen, 0.4–1.1 for phosphorus, 2.3–4.9 for potassium, 1.4–1.9 for calcium and from 1.1–1.3 for magnesium. The inclusion of the contribution by the cyclone more than doubled the deposition of potassium, calcium and magnesium, although values still remained well within the range reported for humid tropical areas. The estimated atmospheric deposition of nutrients over a typical rotation period (16 y) was sufficient to balance losses in harvested Pinus caribaea logs (stemwood plus bark) of potassium, calcium and magnesium, but not of nitrogen and, probably, phosphorus. Nutrient losses associated with the harvesting of stemwood alone were compensated entirely by the atmospheric inputs.



Hide All
Andreae, M. O., Talbot, R. W., Berresheim, H. & Beecher, K. M. 1990. Precipitation chemistry in Central Amazonia. Journal of Geophysical Research 95(D10):16,987–16,999.
Asbury, C. E., McDowell, W. H., Trinidad-Pizarro, R. & Berrios, S. 1994. Solute deposition from cloud water to the canopy of a Puerto Rican montane forest. Atmospheric Environment, 28:17731780.
Basher, R. E. 1985. Extreme wind gusts in Fiji. Information sheet 34 (Revision 1). Fiji Meteorological Service, Nadi, Fiji.
Basher, R. E. 1986a. Climatological summary Nadi Airport. Information Sheet 51, Fiji Meteorological Service, Nadi, Fiji.
Basher, R. E. 1986b. List of extreme wind gusts recorded in Fiji cyclones, 19641986. Information Sheet 106. Fiji Meteorological Service, Nadi, Fiji.
Binkley, D. & Giardina, C. 1997. Biological nitrogen fixation in plantations. In Brown, A. H. & Nambiar, E. K. S. (eds). Better management of soil, water and nutrients in tropical plantation forests. ACIAR, Canberra (in press).
Black, C. A., Evans, D. D., White, J. L., Ensminger, L. E. & Clark, F. E. 1965. Automated ascorbic acid reduction method. Pp. 10431044 in Black, C. A. (ed.). Methods of soil analyses Part 2: chemical and microbiological properties. American Society of Agronomy, Madison, Wisconsin.
Boltz, D. F. and Mellon, M. G. 1948. Spectrophotometric determination of phosphorus as molybdiphosphoric acid. Analytical Chemistry 20:749751.
Bruijnzeel, L. A. 1984. Immobilization of nutrients in plantation forests of Pinus merkusii and Agathis dammara growing on volcanic soils in Central Java. Pp. 1929 in Batchik, A. T. & Pushparahja, E. (eds). Soils and nutrition of perennial crops. Malaysian Soil Science Society, Kuala Lumpur.
Bruijnzeel, L. A. 1989. Nutrient content of bulk precipitation in South-Central Java, Indonesia. Journal of Tropical Ecology 5:187202.
Bruijnzeel, L. A. 1990. Hydrology of moist tropical forests and effects of conversion: a state-of-knowledge review. UNESCO, Paris and Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. 224 pp.
Bruijnzeel, L. A. & Wiersum, K. F. 1985. A nutrient balance sheet for Agathis dammara Warb. plantation forest under various management conditions in Central Java, Indonesia. Forest Ecology and Management 10:195208.
Burghouts, T. B. A. 1993. Spatial heterogeneity of nutrient cycling in Bornean rain forest. PhD thesis, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 156 pp.
Clayton, J. L. 1976. Nutrient gains to adjacent forest ecosystems during a forest fire: an evaluation. Forest Science 22:162166.
Clayton, J. L. 1979. Nutrient supply to soil by rock weathering. Pp. 7596 in Leaf, A. L. (ed.). Proceedings of the symposium on impacts of intensive harvesting on forest nutrient cycling. New York State University, Ithaca, New York.
Drever, J. I. 1982. The geochemistry of natural waters. Prentice Hall, Inc., New Jersey, USA.388 pp.
Duce, R. A. & Hoffman, E. J. 1976. Chemical fractionation at the air-sea interface. Annual Review of the Earth Planetary Science 4:187228.
Dugan, G. L. & Ekern, P. C. 1984. Chemical constituents of rainfall at different locations on O'ahu, Hawaii. Technical Report 160. Water Resources Research Centre. University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, USA25 pp.
Eriksson, E. 1960. The yearly circulation of chlorine and sulphur in nature. Part 2. Meteorological, geochemical and pedological implications. Tellus, 12:63109.
Gabites, J. F. 1979. Reduced ceiling and visibility at Nadi Airport, Fiji. Information sheet 47. Fiji Meteorological Service, Nadi, Fiji.
Galloway, J. N., Likens, G. E., Keene, W. C. & Miller, J. M. 1982. The composition of precipitation in remote areas of the world. Journal of Geophysical Research 87:87118786.
Greenberg, A., Connors, J. & Jenskin, D. 1980. Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater. (16th edition.) American Public Health Association, Washington. 1268 pp.
Gunadi, B. 1993. Decomposition and nutrient flow in a pine forest plantation in Central Java. PhD thesis, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 153 pp.
Hase, H. 1981. Nährstoffen auf banco-Standorten der Walreserve Caparo/Venezuela unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Plantagenwirtschaft mit Teak (Tectona grandis). Göttinger Bodenkundliche Berichte 66:1152.
Hase, H. & Fölster, H. 1983. Impact of plantation forestry with teak (Tectona grandis) on the nutrient status of alluvial soils in West Venezuela. Forest Ecology and Management 6:3357.
Hendrikson, A. & Selmer-Olsen, A. R. 1970. Automatic methods for determination of nitrate and nitrite in water and soil extracts. Analyst 95:514518.
Hendry, C. D., Berish, C. W. & Edgerton, E. S. 1984. Precipitation chemistry at Turrialba, Costa Rica. Water Resources Research, 20:16771684.
Hicks, B. B. 1976. Some micrometeorological aspects of pollutant deposition rates near the surface. In Atmosphere-surface exchange of gaseous pollutants, ERDA symposium series 38:228243. Energy Research and Development Administration, Washington D.C.
Krishna, R. 1980. Rainfall maps of Viti Levu, Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Technical Note 8. Fiji Meteorological Service, Nadi, Fiji.
Krom, M. 1980. Spectrophotometric determination of ammonia: a study of a modified Berthelot reaction using salicylate and dichloroisocyanurate. Analyst 105:305316.
Lesack, L. F. W. & Melack, J. M. 1991. The deposition, composition, and potential sources of major ionic solutes in rain of the Central Amazon Basin. Water Resources Research 27:29532977.
Lewis, W. M. 1981. Precipitation chemistry and nutrient loading by precipitation in a tropical watershed. Water Resources Research 17:169181.
Manton, M. J. & Bonell, M. 1993. Climate and rainfall variability in the humid tropics. Pp. 1333 in Bonell, M., Hufschmidt, M. M. & Gladwell, J. S. (eds). Hydrology and water management in the humid tropics. Cambridge University Press.
Mayer, R. & Uhlrich, B. 1974. Conclusions on the filtering action of forests from ecosystem analysis. Oecologia Plantarum 9:157168.
Miller, H. G., Cooper, J. M. & Miller, J. D. 1976. Effect of nitrogen supply on nutrients in litterfall and crown leaching in a stand of Corsican pine. Journal of Applied Ecology 13:233248.
Nye, P. H. 1961. Organic matter and nutrient cycles under moist tropical forest. Plant and Soil 13:333346.
Parker, G. G. 1983. Throughfall and stemflow in the forest nutrient cycle. Advances in Ecological Research 13:57133.
Parker, G. G. 1985. The effect of disturbance on water and solute budgets of hillslope tropical rainforest in Northeastern Costa Rica. PhD thesis, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. 146 pp.
Prasad, R. 1990. Tropical cyclone report 90/3: Tropical cyclone Rae. Information Sheet 3, Fiji Meteorological Service, Nadi, Fiji.
Pszenny, A. A. P., Macintyre, F. & Duce, R. A. 1982. Sea-salt and the acidity of marine rain on the windward coast of Samoa. Geophysical Research Letters 9(7). American Geophysical Union. Washington USA Pp. 751754.
Reddy, S. D. 1989a. Climatological summary – Nabou Pine. Information Sheet 116, Fiji Meteorological Service, Nadi, Fiji.
Reddy, S. D. 1989b. Average wind speeds at Nadi Airport, Fiji. Information Sheet 40 (Revision 1), Fiji Meteorological Service, Nadi, Fiji.
Ridder, T. B., Buishand, T. A., Reijnders, H. F. R., T Hart, M. J. & Slanina, J. 1985. Effects of storage on the composition of main components in rainwater samples. Atmospheric Environment 19:759762.
Riehl, H. 1979. Climate and weather in the tropics. Academic Press.
Russell, C. E. 1983. Nutrient cycling and productivity of native and plantation forest at Jari florestal, Parà, Brazil. PhD thesis, University of Georgia, Athens. 133 pp.
Scholl, M. A. & Ingebritsen, S. E. 1995. Total and non-seasalt sulphate and chloride measured in bulk precipitation samples from the Kilauea Volcano area, Hawaii. Water-Resources Investigations – U.S. Geological Survey Report. USGS California, USA. 32 pp.
Stoorvogel, J. J. 1993. Gross inputs and outputs of nutrients in undisturbed forest, Taï area, Côte d'Ivoire. Tropenbos series 5. The Tropenbos Foundation, Wageningen, The Netherlands. 148 pp.
Turvey, N. D. 1974. Water in the nutrient cycle of a Papuan rain forest. Nature 251:414415.
Vaughan, E. B. 1976. Suspended particle interactions and uptake in terrestrial plants. In Atmosphere-surface exchange of gaseous pollutants, ERDA symposium series 38:228243. Energy Research and Development Administration, Washington D.C.
Veneklaas, E. J. 1990. Nutrient fluxes in bulk precipitation and throughfall in two montane tropical rain forests, Columbia. Journal of Ecology 78:974992.
Vitousek, P. M. & Sanford, R. L. 1986. Nutrient cycling in moist tropical forest. Annual Reviews of Ecology and Systematics 17:137167.
Waterloo, M. J. 1994. Water and nutrient dynamics of Pinus caribaea plantation forests on former grassland Soils in Southwest Viti Levu, Fiji. PhD thesis, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 478 pp.
Weijers, E. P. & Vugts, H. F. 1990a. An observational study on precipitation chemistry data as a function of surface wind direction. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 52:115132.
Weijers, E. P. & Vugts, H. F. 1990b. The composition of bulk precipitation on a coastal island with agriculture compared to an urban region. Atmospheric Environment 24A:30213031.
White, E. J. & Turner, F. 1970. A method of estimating income of nutrients in a catch of airborne particles by a woodland canopy. Journal of Applied Ecology 7:441461.
Whitehead, H. G. & Feth, J. H. 1964. Chemical composition of rain, dry fallout, and bulk precipitation at Menlo Park, California, 1957–1959. Journal of Geophysical Research 69:33193333.
Zall, D. M., Fischer, D. & Garner, D. 1956. Photometric determination of chlorides in water. Analytical Chemistry 28:1665.


Chemistry of bulk precipitation in southwestern Viti Levu, Fiji

  • M. J. Waterloo (a1), J. Schelleken (a1), L. A. Bruijnzeel (a1), H. F. Vugts (a1), P. N. Assenberg (a1) and T. T. Rawaqa (a2)...


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed