Plant and Soil

, Volume 294, Issue 1–2, pp 31–39 | Cite as

Nutrient cycling and foliar status in an urban pine forest in Athens, Greece

  • Panagiotis Michopoulos
  • George Baloutsos
  • Anastasios Economou
  • Constantini Samara
  • Nikolaos S. Thomaidis
  • Theodoros Grigoratos
Regular Article


The nutrient cycling and foliar status for the elements Ca, Mg, K, N, P, S, Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu were investigated in an urban forest of Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) in 2004 in Athens, Greece in order to draw conclusions on the productivity status and health of the ecosystem. The fluxes of bulk and throughfall deposition were characterized by the high amounts of Ca, organic N and sulfate S. The magnitude of the sulfate S fluxes indicated a polluted atmosphere. The nutrient enrichment in throughfall was appreciable for ammonium N, P and Mn. The mineral soil formed the largest pool for all the elements followed by the forest floor, trunk wood and trunk bark. The understory vegetation consisting of annual plants proved important for storing N, P and K. Compared to current year needles of Aleppo pine in remote forests of Spain, the needles of the Aleppo pine trees in Athens had significantly higher concentrations of Ca, N, P and Cu and significantly lower concentrations of Mg and Zn. The soil had a high concentration of calcium carbonate and accordingly high pH values. When all inputs to the forest floor were taken into account, the mean residence time of nutrients in the forest floor followed the order Fe > Mn > Cu > Ca > Mg > P > Zn > N > K > S.


Aleppo pine Bulk deposition Litterfall Nutrient cycling Soil Throughfall 



The authors are indebted to M. Voulala and A. Bourletsikas for their help with data handling and H. Mitropoulou for her help with analytical work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Panagiotis Michopoulos
    • 1
  • George Baloutsos
    • 1
  • Anastasios Economou
    • 1
  • Constantini Samara
    • 2
  • Nikolaos S. Thomaidis
    • 3
  • Theodoros Grigoratos
    • 2
  1. 1.National Agricultural Research Foundation (N.AG. RE.F.)Forest Research Institute of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Environmental Pollution Control Laboratory, Department of ChemistryAristotle UniversityThessalonikiGreece
  3. 3.Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry, Department of ChemistryNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece

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