Effects of air pollution and climate change on forests of the Tatra Mountains, Central Europe
Synergistic effects of air pollution, extreme weather conditions and biotic agents related to global climate change have caused serious deterioration of forest condition in the Tatra National Park since early 1990s. Atmospheric deposition of sulfate (SO42−), nitrate (NO3−) and acidity (H+) are above the established critical load limits for forests. In addition, ambient ozone (O3) concentrations are also elevated mainly due to a long-range transport of polluted air masses. Ambient O3 concentrations have been monitored since 1992 with active UV monitors and passive samplers showing significant differences along the elevational gradient. High O3 values in spring indicate a potential for O3 stratospheric intrusion into troposphere. Ozone AOT40 index for protection of natural forest vegetation (10,000 ppbh) is commonly exceeded in the middle of vegetation period.
Acidic impact may explain about 10–30% of a dieback observed in naturally oligotrophic Norway spruce (Picea abies) ecosystems probably due to acidification of soils leading to Al3+ mobilization limiting growth of fine roots. This may cause weakened resistance of trees to wind throws frequently observed in the foothills of the Tatra Mountains. Seventy year-long observations of meteorological conditions provide a unique opportunity for comparing current status of the Tatra forests within a context of long-term trends. Extremely high spring and summer temperatures, low precipitation and relative humidity observed during last decade are new factors disturbing ecological stability of natural and man-made forests. Warm and dry vegetation periods favor frequent bark beetle (Ips typographus) outbreaks affecting large areas of the Tatra forests.
Key wordsCritical loads Ozone Vertical gradient Ecosystem stability
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Ågren C (2003) The downward trend continues. Acid News, No. 4, 22Google Scholar
- Bucha T, Mindas J, Pajtik J, Pavlenda P, Pavlendova H, Priwitzer T, Istona J, Pacutova M (2002) Forest healh status in Slovakia. Report from forest monitoring 2002. Forest Reseach Institute Zvolen, 96 pGoogle Scholar
- Bucha T, Durkovicova J, Istona J, Mankovska B, Mindas J, Pacutova M, Pajtik J, Pavlenda P, Priwitzer T, Stancikova A (2003) Forest health status in Slovakia. Report from forest monitoring 2003. Forest Reseach Institute Zvolen, 92 pGoogle Scholar
- Fleischer P, Koren M Jr (1993) Application of GIS and remote sensing for forest health detection in Tatra National Park. International symposium application of remote sensing in forestry. Technical University Zvolen, pp 93–100Google Scholar
- Fleischer P, Koren M (1995) Forest health conditions in Tatra Biosphere Reserve. Ekologia (Bratislava), Vol.14, 1995/4:445–459Google Scholar
- Godzik B, Fleischer P, Grodzinska K, Bytnerowicz A, Matsumoto Y (2003) Long term effects of air pollution on spruce forest in the Tatra Mts (Wester Carpathians) — ozone and vegetation study. Ekologia (Bratislava) 22,Supplement 1/2003:80–94Google Scholar
- Grodzki W, Jachym M (2004) Biotic damage in forests. Proceedings from IUFRO WP 7.03.10 meeting. Matrafured, Hungary, Sept. 16, 2004, in printGoogle Scholar
- Huttunen S, Manninen S, Timonen U (2002) Ozone effects on forest vegetation in Europe. In: Szaro R C, Bytnerowicz A, Oszlanzyi J (Eds) Effects of air pollution on forest health and biodiversity in forest of the Carpathian mountains. IOS Press, Amsterdam, pp 43–49Google Scholar
- ICP (1998) Manual on methods and criteria for harmonized sampling, assessment, monitoring and analysis of the effect of air pollution on forests. UN EC for Europe, Convention on long-range transboundary air pollution. Programme Coordinating Centre, BFH, Hamburg, GermanyGoogle Scholar
- Koncek M, Bohus I, Briedon V, Chomicz K, Intribus R, Knazovicky L, Kolodziejek M, Kurpelova M, Murinova G, Myczkowski S, Orlicz M, Orliczowa J, Otruba J, Pacl J, Peterka V, Petrovic S, Plesnik P, Pulina M, Smolen F, Sokolowska J, Samaj F, Tomlain J, Volfova E, Wisniewski W, Wit-Jozwikova K, Zych S, Zak B (1974) Climate of the Tatras. Veda, Bratislava (in Slovak), 855 pGoogle Scholar
- Kunca V, Skvarenina J, Fleischer P, Celer S, Viglasky J (2003) Concept of critical loads applied in landscape ecology on an example of the geomorphological unit Tatry. Ekologia (Bratislava), Vol. 22,Supplement 2/2003:349–360Google Scholar
- SHMI (2000) Air pollution in the Slovak republic. Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute, Bratislava, 122 pGoogle Scholar
- Svedrup HU, de Vries W, Henriksen A (1990) Mapping critical loads. Nordic Council of Ministers, Copenhagen, 124 pGoogle Scholar
- UN-ECE (1993) Mapping critical levels/loads. Federal environmental agency, BerlinGoogle Scholar
- UNESCO (2003) Five transboundary biosphere reserve in Europe. Technical notes. UNESCO, Paris, 95 pGoogle Scholar