Chapter

Forest Hydrology and Biogeochemistry

Volume 216 of the series Ecological Studies pp 679-710

Date:

The Cycling of Pollutants in Nonurban Forested Environments

  • Elena VanguelovaAffiliated withCentre for Forestry and Climate Change Email author 
  • , Brian ReynoldsAffiliated withCentre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • , Tom NisbetAffiliated withCentre for Forestry and Climate Change
  • , Douglas GodboldAffiliated withSchool of the Environment & Natural Resources, University of Wales

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Abstract

Forests are complex ecosystems which respond to external inputs of pollutants in a variety of ways. Quantifying changes in the storage of pollutants within ecosystem pools and the biogeochemical fluxes between them provides a means of calculating the overall pollutant balance of a forest ecosystem as an indicator of its sustainability and health. This chapter focuses on pollutant cycling in nonurban forest ecosystems with specific attention on quantification of external inputs, pollutant fluxes and pools within forests and exports to adjacent systems (Fig. 34.1). Selected case studies are used to exemplify the approach and illustrate the importance of location, forest type, management practices such as harvesting and soil conditions. Direct pollutant impacts on forest ecosystem functioning, the effects of intensified biomass utilization, and interactions between climate and pollutant cycling are also discussed.