Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 184, Issue 12, pp 7491–7515 | Cite as

Status of the Southern Carpathian forests in the long-term ecological research network

  • Ovidiu Badea
  • Andrzej Bytnerowicz
  • Diana Silaghi
  • Stefan Neagu
  • Ion Barbu
  • Carmen Iacoban
  • Corneliu Iacob
  • Gheorghe Guiman
  • Elena Preda
  • Ioan Seceleanu
  • Marian Oneata
  • Ion Dumitru
  • Viorela Huber
  • Horia Iuncu
  • Lucian Dinca
  • Stefan Leca
  • Ioan Taut
Article

Abstract

Air pollution, bulk precipitation, throughfall, soil condition, foliar nutrients, as well as forest health and growth were studied in 2006–2009 in a long-term ecological research (LTER) network in the Bucegi Mountains, Romania. Ozone (O3) was high indicating a potential for phytotoxicity. Ammonia (NH3) concentrations rose to levels that could contribute to deposition of nutritional nitrogen (N) and could affect biodiversity changes. Higher that 50% contribution of acidic rain (pH < 5.5) contributed to increased acidity of forest soils. Foliar N concentrations for Norway spruce (Picea abies), Silver fir (Abies alba), Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), and European beech (Fagus sylvatica) were normal, phosphorus (P) was high, while those of potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), and especially of manganese (Mn) were significantly below the typical European or Carpathian region levels. The observed nutritional imbalance could have negative effects on forest trees. Health of forests was moderately affected, with damaged trees (crown defoliation >25%) higher than 30%. The observed crown damage was accompanied by the annual volume losses for the entire research forest area up to 25.4%. High diversity and evenness specific to the stand type’s structures and local climate conditions were observed within the herbaceous layer, indicating that biodiversity of the vascular plant communities was not compromised.

Keywords

Air pollution Climatic conditions Atmospheric deposition Drought Forest health Biodiversity Tree growth 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We acknowledge financial support from the Romanian Research Agency’s Excellence Research Program, in the framework of the project “Long-term effects of air pollution on selected forest ecosystems in the Bucegi Natural Park–EPAEFOR,” which is an ongoing and fruitful consortium collaboration between the Forest Research and Management Institute (ICAS), USDA Forest Service, Transylvania University, Bucharest University, and National Forest Administration (Romsilva). Since 2010, this research has been conducted with the support of the European Commission and the Romanian National Forest Administration (Romsilva), under the LIFE+ program (EnvEurope project). The authors thank Ms. Laurie Dunne for technical editing.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ovidiu Badea
    • 1
    • 5
  • Andrzej Bytnerowicz
    • 2
  • Diana Silaghi
    • 1
    • 5
  • Stefan Neagu
    • 1
  • Ion Barbu
    • 1
  • Carmen Iacoban
    • 1
  • Corneliu Iacob
    • 1
  • Gheorghe Guiman
    • 1
  • Elena Preda
    • 3
  • Ioan Seceleanu
    • 4
  • Marian Oneata
    • 1
  • Ion Dumitru
    • 6
  • Viorela Huber
    • 5
  • Horia Iuncu
    • 4
  • Lucian Dinca
    • 1
  • Stefan Leca
    • 1
    • 5
  • Ioan Taut
    • 1
  1. 1.Forest Research and Management Institute (ICAS)VoluntariRomania
  2. 2.USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research StationRiversideUSA
  3. 3.University of BucharestBucharestRomania
  4. 4.National Forest Administration—RomsilvaBucharestRomania
  5. 5.“Transilvania” University BrasovBrasovRomania
  6. 6.“Valahia” UniversityTargovisteRomania

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