Current issue: 56(4)
The article is a literature review focusing on the reaction of soil respiration, litter decomposition and microflora of forest soils to various pollutants like acidic deposition, heavy metals and unusual high amounts of basic cations. There is a great deal of evidence indicating that environmental pollution affects soil microbial activity and community structure. Much of the data originates from experimental designs where high levels of pollutants were applied to the soil under field or laboratory conditions. Furthermore, many were short-term experiments designed to look for large effects. These experiments have an indicative value, but it has to be kept in mind that environmental pollution is a combination of many pollutants, mostly at low concentrations, acting over long periods of time. There is therefore consequently a demand for research performed in natural forest environments polluted with anthropogenic compounds.