An analysis has been made of changes in the mineral composition of conifer needles in northern taiga forests after reduction of emissions from the Severonickel Copper-Nickel Smelter Complex in the city of Monchegorsk, the most powerful source of air pollution in Northern Europe. The data obtained in permanent monitoring plots in 1991, 1993, 2000, and 2007 have been compared. The results provide evidence for reduction in the concentrations of heavy metals (Cu, Ni, Fe) and sulfur in the needles of spruce and pine trees in areas with different levels of air pollution. However, mineral nutrition of conifers has not been optimized. The plants are insufficiently supplied with nutrient elements such as P, Mg, Mn, and Zn. The contents of these and other elements essential for the normal functioning of needles (in particular, Ca, K, and P) continue to decrease, especially in pollution-induced sparse spruce forests. The most significant alterations of nutrient regime have been revealed in the Siberian spruce.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 5, 2014
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