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Forest death and soil degradation in the Jizera Mountains


Forest death and soil degradation in the Jizera Mountains Katy Boon, Steven Cave, Madeleine Cobb, Chris Lewis & Jonathan Townrow Introduction This presentation will ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Forest death and soil degradation in the Jizera Mountains

Forest death and soil degradation in the Jizera
  • Katy Boon, Steven Cave,
  • Madeleine Cobb, Chris Lewis
  • Jonathan Townrow

  • This presentation will cover
  • A brief geological overview of the area and
    history of coal burning
  • Some facts about soil nutrients and plant growth
  • Acid rain and its effects on local vegetation
  • River water chemistry in the Jizera Mountains
  • Our interpretations of how things could be

Geological history of the Jizera mountains
  • Variscan age ? 340 Ma - Devonian
  • Composed of 99 granite

History of coal burning for power generation
  • 1980 - 18 billion tonnes of coal reserves
  • 23 - black coal
  • 77 - brown coal/lignite
  • North Bohemian lignite basin
    - 160km2 mined

Important reactions
  • Formation of SO2 and nitrogen oxides
  • N2 O2 ? 2NO
  • NO 0.5O2 ? NO2
  • 2FeS2 5.5 O2 ? Fe2 O3 4SO2
  • Formation of acids
  • SO2 OH O2 ? H2SO4
  • NOx sunlight OH ? HNO3

History of coal burning 2
  • 1860s - production started
  • 1948 - SO2 emissions 2nd worst in the world
  • 1989 - productivity declined

History of forest decay in the Jizera mountains
  • The original forest had a multi-species tree
    cover. 17th century exploitation of the forest
    for fuel and construction material led to
    replacement with a near monoculture of Spruce
  • 1950s The new communist regimes emphasis on
    coal mining, ore smelting and power generation
    industries led to an ever-increasing level of
    atmospheric SO2 emissions until the late 1980s.
  • 1970s Tree damage and forest decay began to be
  • 1980s Forest decay now advanced with trees dying
    in large numbers and at elevations lt 1000m and on
    South-East slopes.

Plant Nutrients
  • Ca2 Al3 has a much higher affinity for
    negatively charged surfaces than Ca2 leading to
    displacement and consequent loss of Ca2 when
    Al3 is high, i.e. when pH is low.
  • Mg2 Important for photosynthesis as it is a
    vital component of chlorophyll. Mg2 is also
    stripped from soil by high Al3 Mg2
    deficiency leads to yellowing of needles,
    metabolic stress and ultimately plant death.
  • Phosphate is also locked up by high Al3
    PO42- is a major plant nutrient and lack of PO42-
    is a control on vegetative growth.

Plant Nutrients 2
  • Lack of clay minerals due to low pH preventing
    their formation in the rock weathering horizons.
    Al(OH)3 is formed in preference to sheet
    silicates (clays). Al(OH)3 has no cation exchange
    capacity and little water retention, so Al(OH)3
    rich soils have very low fertility.
  • Low pH leads to stressed, stunted trees
    susceptible to secondary damage by acid rain,
    frost, wind, and pests.

Composition of the parent rock
  • Geology of Jizera Mountains is granitic in nature
  • Geology directly affects soil formation and
  • Weathering of bedrock provides plant nutrients
  • KAl3Si3O10(OH)2 H 1.5H2O ? K

Mineral composition of Jizera Mountain granites
Composition of alteration minerals in 2 soil
  • 2 main soil profiles in Jizera Mountains
  • C horizon - Few alteration minerals
  • B2 horizon - Chlorite and Kaolinite
  • B1 horizon - Kaolinite and Al-Fe hydroxides
  • A horizon - No primary minerals except quartz,
    lots of alteration minerals

Soil composition and acid rain
  • Little dissolution of Quartz
  • Si02 2H2O ? H4SiO4
  • Al3 3H2O ? Al(OH)3 3H
  • 2Al(OH)3 H4SiO4 ? Al2SiO5 (OH)2 3H2O
  • 2Al2SiO5 (OH)2 0.5Mg2 0.5Na ? Na0.5Mg
    0.5Al 1.5Si4O10 (OH)2 3H2O 0.5Al3

Chemistry of the Jizera Mountain Rivers
  • Seasonal changes in
  • pH - Ranges between 4 and 6.
  • minimum of 2
  • Al3 - Acid leaching
  • maximum of 10,000 ppm
  • SO42- - gradual decline since 90s
  • Others - major water-borne cations, anions and
    heavy metals

Drinking water in the Vodni nádrž souš dam
  • Al3 was being leached from basin
  • Lime added in the Spring of 96
  • Problems
  • Health and Aluminium

Jizera vs Ore Mountains
  • Comparisons
  • Similar causes of forest decay
  • Majority of pollution from Germany and Poland
  • Similar chemical composition of bedrock

Jizera vs Ore Mountains 2
  • Contrasts
  • Ore Mountains composed of crystalline rock with
    mica schists and granitic intrusions.
  • Ore Mountains forest decayed before the Jizera
    Mountains forest due to acidic air composition
    and relief.

Interpretations and Conclusion
  • Further environmental legislation required
  • Re-establishment of forest using acid resistant
  • Lime addition and sludge removal in dam
  • Potential addition of clay minerals to soil
  • However some environmental recovery is already