Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, Volume 209, Issue 1–4, pp 45–59 | Cite as

Nutrient Fluxes in Planted Norway Spruce Stands of Different Age in Southern Poland

  • Stanisław Małek


The fluxes of N–NO 3 , N–NH 4 + , S–SO 4 2− , Na+, K+, Ca2+ and Mg2+ from bulk precipitation to throughfall, stemflow and soil water surface flows were studied during 1999–2003 in planted Norway spruce forest stands of different ages (11, 24, 91 and 116 years in 1999). Also, runoff from the corresponding Potok Dupniański Catchment in the Silesian Beskid Mts was studied. N deposition was above the critical load for coniferous trees. The interception increased with stand age as well as leaf area index and so did the leaching from the canopy of almost all the analysed elements, but especially S–SO 4 2− , H+ and K+. The nutrient fluxes varied with age of the spruce stands. Throughfall showed a high amount of S and of the strong acids (S–SO 4 2− and N–NO 3 ) deposited to the soil, especially in older spruce age classes. Decomposition of organic matter caused a rise in water acidity and an increase in the concentrations of all the analysed ions; the leaching of minerals, however, was low (under 1%). The horizontal soil water flow showed an increase in the amount of water and amount of ions and contributed to a further decrease of pH at the soil depth of 20 cm. Element concentrations and their amounts increased with water penetrating vertically and horizontally on the slopes. Considerable amounts of ions, especially S and alkaline cations, were carried beyond the reach of the root system and then left the catchment. In the long term, these mineral losses will adversely affect health and growth of the spruce stands, and the increased acidity with stand age will presumably have negative effects on the runoff water ecosystem.


Bulk precipitation Throughfall Surface flow Stemflow Soil water Runoff water LAI The Dupniański Stream Catchment The Silesian Beskid Southern Poland 



This research was supported financially in the framework of project “Optimization of chemometrical techniques of exploration and modelling results originating from environmental constituents’s pollution monitoring” (1439/T02/2007/32). I want to thank Aleksander Astel from Environmental Chemistry Research Unit, Biology and Environmental Protection Institute, the Pomeranian Academy for his help in statistical calculations and for preparing Fig. 1. Especially thanks to Professor emeritus Bengt Nihlgård, Lund University and unknown reviewers for valuable comments.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Forest Ecology, Faculty of ForestryUniversity of Agriculture in KrakowKrakówPoland

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