Current issue: 55(2)
Under compilation: 55(3)
The results of the Finnish forest condition survey carried out during 1986–90 in background areas are presented. The same 3,388 forest trees (1,897 Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris L.), 1,289 Norway spruces (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst. And 202 broadleaves) on 450 mineral soil sample plots were examined annually. Growth characteristics (defoliation, the number of needle age classes, branch damage and needle discolouration), fertility and abiotic and biotic damage express the general vitality of the trees and are not specific for air pollutants. A correlative approach was applied in analysing the factors which may explain the regional pattern and changes in defoliation.
Average tree-specific degree of defoliation was 9% in pine, 21% in spruce and 12% in broadleaves in 1990. Altogether 11% of the pines, 42% of the spruces and 16% of the broadleaves have lost over 20% of their needles or leaves. Defoliation in spruce was the same as in the previous year, but in pine and broadleaves it had slightly decreased. Defoliation had increased by 5 %-units in pine, 16 %-units in spruce and 7 %-units in broadleaves during the whole study period 1986–90.
High stand age and different weather and climatic factors greatly affected forest defoliation in background areas in Finland. Pine cancer (Ascocalyx abietina) has enhanced defoliation in pine in the western part of the country. Air pollutants have evidently contributed to the increase of defoliation in the most polluted parts of Southern Finland. In pine a significant positive correlation was found between modelled sulphur deposition and the average stand-specific degree of defoliation as well as with the increase in average 5-year defoliation in Southern Finland. It is suspected that green algae growing on needles of spruce in Southern Finland indicates elevated nitrogen deposition levels.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
At immediate surroundings of a fiberglass plant in Central Sweden, vegetation shows toxicity symptoms. Soils and birch (Betula pendula Roth) leaves were sampled. The soil was analysed for water soluble and organic bound boron, carbon, nitrogen, and pH. Vegetation was analysed for total boron. Both fractions of boron in the soils increased towards the factory. Organic bound boron increased irregularly because of its strong correlation to carbon content which varied in the area. The C/N ratio increased nearer the industry due to the harmful effect of boron on the decomposition of organic matter. No relation between pH and the distance from the emission source was visible, but B/C ratio was found to increase with increasing pH of the soil. Boron levels in birch leaves were elevated very much close to the factory. The geographical distribution of high levels of boron in birch, corresponded well with high values in soils, and also with the main wind directions. The limit values for visible injury on birch were found to be around 5 ppm of water-soluble boron in soil and around 200 ppm in leaves.
A technique for instrumental scoring of damaged leaves on tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) indicator plants caused by ozone in the lower atmosphere is being developed. The leaves are photographed in situ with an integrated unit, which illuminates the leaf from behind and keeps the camera in a well-defined position. By using microfilm and a minus green filter, it is possible to obtain negatives where the necrotic flecks appear as dark spots on a white leaf. The negatives are scanned in a TV-system and the size of the damaged fraction of the leaf is calculated by a microprosessor and is shown as a percentage of the leaf.