Vegetation injury occurring after winter at a fertilizer factory.
Air pollution injury to vegetation often occurs near a fertilizer factory in Central Sweden. The causing incidence often occurs in the winter and the symptoms appear when metabolism starts in the spring. Deciduous and coniferous trees and bushes were injured in the spring of 1979. Samples of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) needles were analysed for sulphur, total fluorine and nitrogen content, some of them for nitrate and ammonium. All the compounds showed elevated levels, clearly connected with the degree of exposure of the sampling site. The levels were higher in the spring than later in the growing season, indicating involvement in metabolism or leaching. None of the compounds was significantly in excess, although, elevated to an extent to indicate the cause of injury. Most probably the nitrogen compounds were involved. The problems encountered in tracing the causing pollutant, when injury appeared long after the incidence, might be easier solved with regularly used technical monitoring and bioindicator technique.
Published in 1981