Evaluation of Pollution-Related Stress Factors for Forest Ecosystems in Central Europe

Herman Friedl, Stefan Smidt, Huber Sigbert, Michael Englisch, Markus Knoflacher

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung


Since the early eighties air pollution by SO 2 and Pb and, to a lesser degree by NO x and NH 3 , have been significantly reduced in Europe. This was done in part for the protection of forest ecosystems. The reductions are reflected in the pollutant impacts and inputs and have been verified through the bioindicator Norway spruce. In contrast, ozone concentrations increased at most of the evaluated measuring locations and trends were calculated based on the results of about 100 stations in Austria and Germany. Despite reduced emissions, large parts of the forest ecosystems are still affected by air-pollution impacts. Negative effects can be assessed using different legal standards and Critical Levels and Critical Loads, respectively: The legal standard for the evaluation of SO 2 impact, as used in Austria, is well suited. The provisional European Critical Level for ozone, the AOT40 must, in order to be a meaningful criterion for field applications, be further refined. Continuing the Critical Load concept, the spatial risk of acid depositions in areas of high geomorphic variability were evaluated using the new parameter of 'critical soil depth'. With the help of the newly defined 'lead accumulation index', the accumulation of Pb from air pollution could be evaluated. Air-pollution inputs and the spatial acidification risk is directly related to altitude. Up to altitudes of 1000 m and 1100 m, SO 2 impact and acid depositions, respectively were indicated and elevated ozone doses and Pb inputs were observed in the sensitive sub-alpine areas. These results underline the necessity for increased protection of mountain forest ecosystems, among others through a further reduction of emissions or forest-related strategies.
Seiten (von - bis)12
FachzeitschriftEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2000

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