Nicholas Clarke

Research Professor

(+47) 974 80 327
nicholas.clarke@nibio.no

Place
Ås H8

Visiting address
Høgskoleveien 8, 1433 Ås

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Abstract

The international Long-Term Ecological Research Network (ILTER) encompasses hundreds of long-term research/monitoring sites located in a wide array of ecosystems that can help us understand environmental change across the globe. We evaluated long-term trends (1990–2015) for bulk deposition, throughfall and runoff water chemistry and fluxes, and climatic variables in 25 forested catchments in Europe belonging to the UNECE International Cooperative Programme on Integrated Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Ecosystems (ICP IM). Many of the IM sites form part of the monitoring infrastructures of this larger ILTER network. Trends were evaluated for monthly concentrations of non-marine (anthropogenic fraction, denoted as x) sulphate (xSO4) and base cations x(Ca + Mg), hydrogen ion (H+), inorganic N (NO3 and NH4) and ANC (Acid Neutralising Capacity) and their respective fluxes into and out of the catchments and for monthly precipitation, runoff and air temperature. A significant decrease of xSO4 deposition resulted in decreases in concentrations and fluxes of xSO4 in runoff, being significant at 90% and 60% of the sites, respectively. Bulk deposition of NO3 and NH4 decreased significantly at 60–80% (concentrations) and 40–60% (fluxes) of the sites. Concentrations and fluxes of NO3 in runoff decreased at 73% and 63% of the sites, respectively, and NO3 concentrations decreased significantly at 50% of the sites. Thus, the LTER/ICP IM network confirms the positive effects of the emission reductions in Europe. Air temperature increased significantly at 61% of the sites, while trends for precipitation and runoff were rarely significant. The site-specific variation of xSO4 concentrations in runoff was most strongly explained by deposition. Climatic variables and deposition explained the variation of inorganic N concentrations in runoff at single sites poorly, and as yet there are no clear signs of a consistent deposition-driven or climate-driven increase in inorganic N exports in the catchments.

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Abstract

Acid deposition arising from sulphur (S) and nitrogen (N) emissions from fossil fuel combustion and agriculture has contributed to the acidification of terrestrial ecosys- tems in many regions globally. However, in Europe and North America, S deposition has greatly decreased in recent decades due to emissions controls. In this study, we assessed the response of soil solution chemistry in mineral horizons of European forests to these changes. Trends in pH, acid neutralizing capacity (ANC), major ions, total aluminium (Al tot ) and dissolved organic carbon were determined for the period 1995–2012. Plots with at least 10 years of observations from the ICP Forests moni- toring network were used. Trends were assessed for the upper mineral soil (10– 20 cm, 104 plots) and subsoil (40–80 cm, 162 plots). There was a large decrease in the concentration of sulphate (SO 2 4 ) in soil solution; over a 10-year period (2000– 2010), SO 2 4 decreased by 52% at 10–20 cm and 40% at 40–80 cm. Nitrate was unchanged at 10–20 cm but decreased at 40–80 cm. The decrease in acid anions was accompanied by a large and significant decrease in the concentration of the nutrient base cations: calcium, magnesium and potassium (Bc = Ca 2+ + Mg 2+ + K + ) and Al tot over the entire dataset. The response of soil solution acidity was nonuni- form. At 10–20 cm, ANC increased in acid-sensitive soils (base saturation ≤10%) indicating a recovery, but ANC decreased in soils with base saturation >10%. At 40–80 cm, ANC remained unchanged in acid-sensitive soils (base saturation ≤20%, pH CaCl 2 ≤ 4.5) and decreased in better-buffered soils (base saturation >20%, pH CaCl 2 > 4.5). In addition, the molar ratio of Bc to Al tot either did not change or decreased. The results suggest a long-time lag between emission abatement and changes in soil solution acidity and underline the importance of long-term monitor- ing in evaluating ecosystem response to decreases in deposition.

Abstract

Short-term (three to four years) effects of forest harvesting on soil solution chemistry were investigated at two Norway spruce sites in southern Norway, differing in precipitation amount and topography. Experimental plots were either harvested conventionally (stem-only harvesting, SOH) or whole trees, including crowns, twigs and branches were removed (whole-tree harvesting, WTH), leaving residue piles on the ground for some months before removal. The WTH treatment had two sub-treatments: WTH-pile where there had been piles and WTH-removal, from where residues had been removed to make piles. Increased soil solution concentrations of NO3–N, total N, Ca, Mg and K at 30 cm depth, shown by peaks in concentrations in the years after harvesting, were found at the drier, less steep site in eastern Norway after SOH and WTH-pile, but less so after WTH-removal. At the wetter, steeper site in western Norway, peaks were often observed also at WTH-removal plots, which might reflect within-site differences in water pathways due largely to site topography.

Abstract

Phosphorus (P) is one of the main limiting factors for crop productivity while rhizosphere organic anions have been hypothesized to play an important role in P acquisition. Sampling in a long-term field experiment was carried out in order to understand the impact of long-term differences in P fertilization on secretion of organic anions under field conditions. Rhizosphere organic anions were extracted and analyzed every week from three leaves stage to completed flowering stage of wheat (Triticum aestivum) grown on plots that have received 0 (P0) or 48 (P48) kg P ha−1 year−1 since 1966. The study showed that it is possible to extract and quantify rhizosphere organic anions from field plots. In P48 plots, root P concentrations decreased around 40 % at the early stages (before heading), compared with the first sampling, and then increased slightly, while plants grown in P0 plots showed the opposite trend. Malate was the main organic anion secreted throughout all the wheat growth stages. Rhizosphere citrate and malate showed negative and positive correlations (P < 0.05) respectively with root P concentrations at 29 and 42 days after emergence (DAE). Rhizosphere organic anion concentrations were quite low until 29 DAE and then increased up to 4–10-fold until 42 DAE; these concentrations declined at later stages, indicating that root-released organic anions may have been affected by developmental stage and root P concentration. The present study provides valuable information about the relationship between rhizosphere organic anions and various P concentrations of wheat grown in the field.

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Abstract

Empirical evidence based on integrated environmental monitoring including physical, chemical and biological variables is essential for evaluating the ecosystem benefits of costly emission reduction policies. The international multidisciplinary ICP IM (International Cooperative Programme on Integrated Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Ecosystems) programme studies the integrated effects of air pollution and climate change on ecosystems in unmanaged and calibrated forested catchments. We calculated site-specific annual input-output budgets for sulphate (SO4) and total inorganic nitrogen (TIN NO3- N + NH4-N) for 17 European ICP IM sites in 1990–2012. Temporal trends for input (deposition) and output (runoff water) fluxes and the net retention/net release of SO4 and TIN were also analysed. Large differences in the input and output fluxes of SO4 and TIN reflect important gradients of air pollution effects in Europe, with the highest deposition and runoff water fluxes at IM sites located in southern Scandinavia and in parts of Central and Eastern Europe and the lowest fluxes at more remote sites in northern European regions. A significant decrease in the total (wet + dry) deposition of non-marine SO4 and bulk deposition of TIN was found at 90% and 65% of the sites, respectively. Output fluxes of non-marine SO4 in runoff decreased significantly at 65% of the sites, indicating positive effects of the international emission abatement actions in Europe during the last 20 years. Catchments retained SO4 in the early and mid1990s, but this shifted towards a net release in the late 1990s, which may be due to the mobilization of legacy S pools accumulated during times of high atmospheric SO4 deposition. Despite decreased deposition, TIN output fluxes and retention rates showed a mixed response with both decreasing (9 sites) and increasing (8 sites) trend slopes, and trends were rarely significant. In general, TIN was strongly retained in the catchments not affected by natural disturbances. The long-term annual variation in net releases for SO4 was explained by variations in runoff and SO4 concentrations in deposition, while a variation in TIN concentrations in runoff was mostly associated with a variation of the TIN retention rate in catchments. The net release of SO4 from forest soils may delay the recovery from acidification for surface waters and the continued enrichment of nitrogen in catchment soils poses a threat to terrestrial biodiversity and may ultimately lead to a higher TIN runoff through N-saturation. Continued monitoring and further evaluations of mass balance budgets are thus needed.

Abstract

Increased forest biomass production for bioenergy will have various consequences for landscape scenery, depending on both the landscape features present and the character and intensity of the silvicultural and harvesting methods used. We review forest preference research carried out in Finland, Sweden and Norway, and discuss these findings in relation to bioenergy production in boreal forest ecosystems. Some production methods and related operations incur negative reactions among the public, e.g. stump harvesting, dense plantation, soil preparation, road construction, the use of non-native species, and partly also harvest of current non-productive forests. Positive visual effects of bioenergy production tend to be linked to harvesting methods such as tending, thinning, selective logging and residue harvesting that enhance both stand and landscape openness, and visual and physical accessibility. Relatively large differences in findings between studies underline the importance of local contextual knowledge about landscape values and how people use the particular landscape where different forms of bioenergy production will occur. This scientific knowledge may be used to formulate guiding principles for visual management of boreal forest bioenergy landscapes.

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Abstract

Many arable lands have accumulated large reserves of residual phosphorus (P) and a relatively large proportion of soil P is less available for uptake by plants. Root released organic anions are widely documented as a key physiological strategy to enhance P availability, while limited information has been generated on the contribution of rhizosphere organic anions to P utilization by crops grown in agricultural soils that are low in available P and high in extractable Ca, Al, and Fe. We studied the role of rhizosphere organic anions in P uptake from residual P in four common crops Triticum aestivum, Avena sativa, Solanum tuberosum, and Brassica napus in low- and high-P availability agricultural soils from long-term fertilization field trials in a mini-rhizotron experiment with four replications. Malate was generally the dominant organic anion. More rhizosphere citrate was detected in low P soils than in high P soil. B. napus showed 74–103% increase of malate in low P loam, compared with clay loam. A. sativa had the greatest rhizosphere citrate concentration in all soils (5.3–15.2 μmol g−1 root DW). A. sativa also showed the highest level of root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF; 36 and 40%), the greatest root mass ratio (0.51 and 0.66) in the low-P clay loam and loam respectively, and the greatest total P uptake (5.92 mg P/mini-rhizotron) in the low-P loam. B. napus had 15–44% more rhizosphere acid phosphatase (APase) activity, ~0.1–0.4 units lower rhizosphere pH than other species, the greatest increase in rhizosphere water-soluble P in the low-P soils, and the greatest total P uptake in the low-P clay loam. Shoot P content was mainly explained by rhizosphere APase activity, water-soluble P and pH within low P soils across species. Within species, P uptake was mainly linked to rhizosphere water soluble P, APase, and pH in low P soils. The effects of rhizosphere organic anions varied among species and they appeared to play minor roles in improving P availability and uptake.

Abstract

Effects of clear-cut harvesting on ground vegetation plant species diversity and their cover are investigated at two Norway spruce sites in southern Norway, differing in climate and topography. Experimental plots at these two sites were either harvested conventionally (stem-only harvesting) or whole trees including crowns, twigs and branches were removed (whole-tree harvesting), leaving residue piles on the ground for some months. We compare the number of plant species in different groups and their cover sums before and after harvesting, and between the different treatments, using non-parametric statistical tests. An overall loss of ground vegetation biodiversity is induced by harvesting and there is a shift in cover of dominant species, with negative effects for bryophytes and dwarf shrubs and an increase of graminoid cover. Differences between the two harvesting methods at both sites were mainly due to the residue piles assembled during whole-tree harvesting and the physical damage made during the harvesting of residues in these piles. The presence of the residue piles had a clear negative impact on both species numbers and cover. Pile residue harvesting on unfrozen and snow-free soil caused more damage to the forest floor in the steep terrain at the western site compared to the eastern site.

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Abstract

Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in surface waters is connected to DOC in soil solution through hydrological pathways. Therefore, it is expected that long-term dynamics of DOC in surface waters reflect DOC trends in soil solution. However, a multitude of site studies have failed so far to establish consistent trends in soil solution DOC, whereas increasing concentrations in European surface waters over the past decades appear to be the norm, possibly as a result of recovery from acidification. The objectives of this study were therefore to understand the long-term trends of soil solution DOC from a large number of European forests (ICP Forests Level II plots) and determine their main physico-chemical and biological controls. We applied trend analysis at two levels: (1) to the entire European dataset and (2) to the individual time series and related trends with plot characteristics, i.e., soil and vegetation properties, soil solution chemistry and atmospheric deposition loads. Analyses of the entire dataset showed an overall increasing trend in DOC concentrations in the organic layers, but, at individual plots and depths, there was no clear overall trend in soil solution DOC. The rate change in soil solution DOC ranged between −16.8 and +23 % yr−1 (median  = +0.4 % yr−1) across Europe. The non-significant trends (40 %) outnumbered the increasing (35 %) and decreasing trends (25 %) across the 97 ICP Forests Level II sites. By means of multivariate statistics, we found increasing trends in DOC concentrations with increasing mean nitrate (NO3−) deposition and increasing trends in DOC concentrations with decreasing mean sulfate (SO42−) deposition, with the magnitude of these relationships depending on plot deposition history. While the attribution of increasing trends in DOC to the reduction of SO42− deposition could be confirmed in low to medium N deposition areas, in agreement with observations in surface waters, this was not the case in high N deposition areas. In conclusion, long-term trends of soil solution DOC reflected the interactions between controls acting at local (soil and vegetation properties) and regional (atmospheric deposition of SO42− and inorganic N) scales.

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Phosphorus (P) is an important element for crop productivity and is widely applied in fertilizers. Most P fertilizers applied to land are sorbed onto soil particles, so research on improving plant uptake of less easily available P is important. In the current study, we investigated the responses in root morphology and root-exuded organic acids (OAs) to low available P (1 mM P) and sufficient P (50 mM P) in barley, canola and micropropagated seedlings of potato— three important food crops with divergent root traits, using a hydroponic plant growth system.We hypothesized that the dicots canola and tuber-producing potato and the monocot barley would respond differently under various P availabilities. WinRHIZO and liquid chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry results suggested that under low P availability, canola developed longer roots and exhibited the fastest root exudation rate for citric acid. Barley showed a reduction in root length and root surface area and an increase in root-exudedmalic acid under low-P conditions. Potato exuded relativelysmall amounts of OAs under low P, while therewas a marked increase in root tips. Based on the results, we conclude that different crops show divergent morphological and physiological responses to low P availability, having evolved specific traits of root morphology and root exudation that enhance their P-uptake capacity under low-P conditions. These results could underpin future efforts to improve P uptake of the three crops that are of importance for future sustainable crop production.

Abstract

Whole-tree harvest (WTH), i.e. harvesting of forest residues (twigs, branches and crown tops) in addition to stems, for bioenergy purposes may lead to biodiversity loss and changes in species composition in forest ground vegetation, which in turn also will affect soil properties. Effects of clear-cut harvesting on ground vegetation have been investigated at two Norway spruce sites in southern east and western Norway, respectively, differing in climate and topography. Experimental plots at these two sites were either harvested conventionally (stem-only harvest, SOH), leaving harvest residues spread on the site,or WTH was carried out, with the residues collected into piles at the site for six - nine months prior to removal. Vegetation plots in the eastern site were established and analysed before WTH and SOH in 2008 and reanalysed after harvesting in 2010, 2012 and 2014. In the western site vegetation plots were established before WTH and SOH in 2010 and reanalysed after harvesting in 2012 and 2014 (and planned for 2016). All vegetation plots are permanently marked. Pre-as well as post-harvesting species abundances of all species in each vegetation plot were each time recorded as percentage cover (vertical projection) and subplot frequency. Environmental variables (topographical, soil physical, soil chemical, and tree variables) were recorded only once; before WTH and SOH. Effec ts of WTH and SOH on ground vegetation biodiversity and cover are presented.

Abstract

Miljødirektoratet utarbeidet i 2014 et kunnskapsgrunnlag for hvordan vi kan omstille Norge til et lavutslippssamfunn (Miljødirektoratet 2014). I rapporten ble en rekke tiltak i skog beskrevet. Denne rapporten er en del av neste fase av dette arbeidet, som er å utdype analysen av mulige tiltak og virkemidler. Her beskriver vi, på oppdrag fra Miljødirektoratet, et utvalg klimatiltak i skog. Det er på ingen måte noen uttømmende oversikt over klimatiltak, men dekker et utvalg som det var ønske om å belyse nærmere. Disse er belyst nærmere med hovedvekt på karbonopptak og –lagring. Betydning for andre økosystemtjenester, som for eksempel biodiversitet og friluftsliv, er ikke belyst. Hovedkonklusjonene fra dette arbeidet kan kort oppsummeres slik: Fra 1990 og frem til 2012 har et bruttoareal på 1,4 mill. daa blitt avskoget (NIR 2014). Basert på data fra Landsskogtakseringen ser vi at den viktigste årsaken er nedbygging av skogareal til ulike formål (73 % av arealet), etterfulgt av omdisponering til beite (16 %). Om lag 29 % av skogen som avvirkes, hogges før hogstmodenhetsalder. Av dette arealet utgjør hogstklasse IV 25 %, mens hogstklasse III eller yngre utgjør 4 %. Skog definert som ”yngre skog” etter forslag til revidert PEFC skogstandard utgjør 9 %. Generelt benyttes relativt skånsomme metoder for markberedning i Norge i dag, og disse er vurdert til sannsynligvis å ha liten eller ingen effekt på karbonmengder i jorda over tid og over det totale areal. Tettere planting gir høyere volumproduksjon tidlig i bestandets liv. I følge resultatkontrollen i 2013 hadde 29 % av det totale foryngelsesarealet et plantetall under anbefalt nivå i bærekraftforskriften. Framskrivningene av skogbestokningen viser at en fortsettelse av dagens praksis på årlig foryngelsesareal fra 2015 og frem til 2100 akkumulert gir 83,5 millioner tonn CO2 lavere opptak enn om arealet hadde vært plantet med anbefalt tetthet. Høyere plantetetthet gir også økt mulighet for å ta ut virke gjennom tynning. Vi mener det er potensial for økt tynningsaktivitet, uten at dette vil redusere produksjon (opptak) på lenger sikt. Tynning kan øke potensialet for mer bruk av GROT (heltretynning). Ved tynning og gjødsling kan andelen sagtømmer i det hogstmodne bestandet øke, og samtidig kan tynning være ønskelig for å lage stabile bestand som kan overholdes utover normal hogstmodenhetsalder. Uttak av hogstrester (GROT) gir råstoff til bioenergi, som kan brukes til å erstatte fossile brensler. Forutsatt høstet på en bærekraftig måte, kan uttaket av GROT sannsynligvis økes uten redusert fremtidig produksjon (opptak). En lavskjerm med bjørk over granforyngelse vil, dersom den skjøttes riktig, gi en høyere total volumproduksjon på arealet over ett omløp sammenlignet med et renbestand med gran.

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Tree harvest and different harvesting methods may affect the soil carbon (C) pool in forest ecosystems. In con- ventional stem-only timber harvesting (SOH), branches and tops that are left in the forests may contribute to the build-up of the soil carbon pool. In whole-tree harvesting (WTH), inputs of organic matter from branches and tops are strongly reduced. We established field experiments at Gaupen, SE and Vindberg, SW Norway, to study the short-term effects of SOH and WTH on processes affecting the accumulation and loss of soil C. Logging residues on the WTH plots were collected in piles that were removed after 6 months, rendering two sub treatments (WTH- pile and WTH-removal areas). We weighed selected trees and logging residues, surveyed understorey biomass production, quantified pre-harvest soil C and nutrient pools down to 30 cm. Soil respiration was measured and soil water sampled monthly during the growing season, while temperature and moisture were measured continuously. Organic and mineral horizons were incubated at different temperatures to estimate potential C and N mineraliza- tion, and deep sequencing of the ITS2 barcode region of fungal DNA was performed on the samples. Litterbags were deployed in the SOH plots. The logging residues amounted to 2.2-2.4 kg C m-2 At Gaupen, the mean in situ soil respiration rates increased following harvest with all treatments, but were significantly higher in WTH-pile and SOH relative to the WTH- removal areas in the first year as well as the fourth year of treatment. The former rates included aboveground decomposing needles and twigs but excluded coarser branches. The observed increase in the WTH-removal areas may be related to decomposing roots, as well as to increased C mineralization partly due to the higher soil tem- peratures following harvest. Soil temperature was the single most important factor explaining the variability in soil respiration rates over all treatments. At Vindberg, a decrease in soil respiration was observed with all treatments in the second and third years following harvest. At both sites, decomposition of logging residues from needles was more rapid relative to twigs and fine roots. The decomposing residues released a substantial amount of nitrogen which was gradually reflected in the soil water at 30 cm soil depth. A considerable increase in the NO3-N concen- tration also in the WTH-removal areas in the second year following harvest suggests an increase in N availability from decomposing fine roots and/or soil organic matter. The increased N availability in the WTH-removal areas was supported by results from short term lab incubations of undisturbed soil from the forest floor. The changes in the WTH-removal areas were also reflected in the soil fungal diversity: saprophytic ascomycetes on decaying plant material showed a striking increase in all treatments. For the WTH-removal areas, this may, again, be related to the increased input of root litter; however, the decrease in mycorrhizal basidiomycete species and the vigorous increase of ascomycetes following harvest may also affect the C mineralization of soil organic matter.

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No abstract has been registered

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Of a wide variety of international forest research and monitoring networks, several networks are dedicated to the effects of climate change on forests, while the effects of anthropogenic pollutants on forests have been a major area for both monitoring and research for decades. The large amounts of data already obtained within existing monitoring programmes and large-scale international projects can be used to increase understanding of the state and potential of forest mitigation and adaptation to climate change in a polluted environment, and a major challenge now is to evaluate and integrate the presently available databases. We present a meta-database with the main goal to highlight available data and integrate the information about research and monitoring of selected European Research and Monitoring Networks (ERMNs). Depending on the selected ERMNs, the list of variables and the measurement units differ widely in the databases. As a result, activities related to the identification, evaluation and integration of the presently available databases are important for the scientific community. Furthermore, and equally important, the recognition of current knowledge gaps and future needed research is made easier. This analysis suggests that: ground-level ozone is under-investigated, although it is one of the pollutants of greatest concern to forests; in addition to CO2, long-term other greenhouse gasses (GHG) flux measurements should be carried out; there is still a need of improving links between monitoring of atmospheric changes and impacts on forests; research-oriented manipulative experiments in the forests are missing.

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Information on tree species effects on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks is scattered and there have been few attempts to synthesize results for forest floor and mineral soil C pools. We reviewed and synthesized current knowledge of tree species effects on SOC stocks in temperate and boreal forests based on common garden, retrospective paired stand and retrospective single-tree studies. There was evidence of consistent tree species effects on SOC stocks. Effects were clearest for forest floor C stocks (23 of 24 studies) with consistent differences for tree genera common to European and North American temperate and boreal forests. Support for generalization of tree species effects on mineral soil C stocks was more limited, but significant effects were found in 13 of 22 studies that measured mineral soil C. Proportional differences in forest floor and mineral soil C stocks among tree species suggested that C stocks can be increased by 200–500% in forest floors and by 40–50% in top mineral soil by tree species change. However, these proportional differences within forest floors and mineral soils are not always additive: the C distribution between forest floor and mineral soil rather than total C stock tends to differ among tree species within temperate forests. This suggests that some species may be better engineers for sequestration of C in stable form in the mineral soil, but it is unclear whether the key mechanism is root litter input or macrofauna activity. Tree species effects on SOC in targeted experiments were most consistent with results from large-scale inventories for forest floor C stocks whereas mineral soil C stocks appeared to be stronger influenced by soil type or climate than by tree species at regional or national scales. Although little studied, there are indications that higher tree species diversity could lead to higher SOC stocks but the role of tree species diversity per se vs. species identity effects needs to be disentangled in rigorous experimental designs. For targeted use of tree species to sequester soil C we must identify the processes related to C input and output, particularly belowground, that control SOC stock differences. We should also study forms and stability of C along with bulk C stocks to assess whether certain broadleaves store C in more stable form. Joint cooperation is needed to support syntheses and process-oriented work on tree species and SOC, e.g. through an international network of common garden experiments.

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Atmospheric deposition to forests has been monitored in the frame of the ICP Forests programme with sampling and analyses of bulk and throughfall deposition at several hundred forested Level II plots for more than 15 years now. Current deposition of inorganic nitrogen and sulphate is highest in Northern Central Europe as well as in some regions in southern parts. In this study we compared linear regression and MannKendall trend analyses techniques. The choice of method had an influence on the number of trends identified as being significant. We showed that the minimal detectable trends can be estimated with the mean short term temporal variability of the deposition, which is to a large extent due to meteorological variations, such as the precipitation and circulation patterns. The overall decreasing trends for inorganic N and SO42- in the past decade of about 3% and 6% require time series of about 10 and 6 years respectively to detect a trend on a plot with statistical significance. Past reduction of human emission reduced atmospheric deposition of acidifying and eutrophying compounds. This could be confirmed due to the availability of long-term data series. However, further reductions are required to reduce deposition to forests below critical loads for the whole of Europe.

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Aim of study: The main aim of the work was to summarize availability, quality and comparability of on-going European Research and Monitoring Networks (ERMN), based on the results of a COST FP0903 Action questionnaire carried out in September 2010 and May 2012. Area of study: The COST Action FP0903 involves 29 European countries and 4 non-COST institutions from USA, Morocco and Tunisia. In this study, the total of 22 replies to the questionnaire from 18 countries were included. Materials and methods: Based on the feedback from the Action FP0903 countries, the most popular European Networks were identified. Thereafter, the access to the network database, available quality assurance/quality control procedures and publication were described. Finally, the so-called “Supersites” concept, defined as a “highly instrumented research infrastructure, for both research and monitoring of soil-plant-atmosphere interactions” was discussed. Main results: The result of the survey indicate that the vast majority of the Action FP0903 countries participate in the International Cooperative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forest (ICP Forest). The multi-disciplinary International Cooperative Programme on Integrated Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Ecosystems (ICPIM) is the second most widespread forest programme. Research highlights: To fully understand biochemical cycles in forest ecosystems, long-term monitoring is needed. Hence, a network of “Supersites”, is proposed. The application of the above infrastructure can be an effective way to attain a better integration of research and monitoring networks at forest sites in Europe. Key words: supersites; European Research Monitoring Networks; harmonization; forest.

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This study examines already existing guidelines for the sustainable removal of slash from forests for bioenergy use. Existing guidelines from some countries, states and provinces with forest ecosystems comparable to Norways (Sweden, Finland, the U.K., Ireland, Minnesota, New Hampshire and British Columbia) are compared with the Norwegian Living Forests (LF) and Debio (ecological forestry) guidelines. The aim is to identify areas where the Norwegian guidelines could be further developed.

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This report has been prepared in the frame of Work Package 3 (Policy) of the Interreg IVB project Bioenergy Promotion. The main rationale of this work package is to support the development of coherent national and (sub)regional policies promoting the sustainable production and consumption of bioenergy. The purpose of the country policy assessment report is to describe the main promotional policies and support schemes for bioenergy and to assess to what extent national policy frameworks contribute to Sustainable Development and integrate related sustainability principles and criteria. At present and in the foreseeable future, the main source of raw materials for bioenergy in Norway is likely to be the forests. However, waste from agriculture, households and industry is another promising source. Investment support needs to be continued, at least at present levels. The main bottlenecks for increased use of bioenergy in Norway are economic, so economic support is necessary. Further development of the standard for sustainable forestry is required, in order to take into account aspects that are not yet covered (see above under Point 3.5). However, there is currently disagreement between the parties to the Living Forests standard, so revision is not likely to take place soon. Current research is being carried out, for example in CenBio and the project “Ecological consequences of increased biomass removal from forests in Norway” on the effects of whole-tree harvesting compared to stem-only harvesting on soil nutrients, carbon stocks, ground vegetation and regeneration). In addition, work is being carried out to study the applicability under Norwegian conditions of the guidelines of other countries such as Sweden, Finland, the UK and Ireland and to prepare preliminary guidelines for Norwegian forestry. There is disagreement on the likely short-term effects of biomass harvesting for bioenergy on carbon sequestration in forest ecosystems (see above under 5.2) and this needs to be further studied. In their present form, the binding EU sustainability criteria for biofuels/bioliquids should not be extended to solid/gaseous biomass used for electricity and heating/cooling. Some changes are necessary to take account of specific conditions e.g. in forestry. For example, it is stated in Point 4 of Article 17 of the Renewable Energy Directive that biofuels and bioliquids shall not be obtained from land that was continuously forested in January 2008 and is no longer continuously forested. It is unclear how this would affect clear-cuts. Also, in Point C7 of Annex V, the 20-year period for calculating carbon stock changes is completely unrealistic for forestry (although this refers to land-use change and it could be argued that felling is not land-use change if the land is used for forest afterwards; this should be clarified). These aspects of the Renewable Energy Directive are already problematic if forest biomass is to be used for biofuels or bioliquids.

Abstract

This report aims to summarise briefly the findings in the scientific literature concerning the effect of both stem-only and whole-tree harvesting on soil carbon stocks. Although the findings reported by previous authors vary, it is possible to draw some general conclusions about the effect of harvesting on soil carbon, and on whether whole-tree harvesting has a greater effect than stem-only harvesting. In general it appears that the organic C content in the soil’s organic layer is reduced after stem-only harvesting, sometimes by as much as 50%. This reduction has been explained in several ways. After a period of maybe 20 years, the carbon content of the organic layer starts to increase again. In the mineral soil a reduction is not always apparent and the C content can even increase, probably because of the incorporation of residues into the soil. Some studies have shown that this increase is short-lived, while others have found a longer-term increase. Unsurprisingly, thinning appears to affect the soil carbon content much less than clear-cutting; the effect tends to be proportional to the thinning intensity. The soil carbon content appears to be higher after selection cutting than after clear-cutting. Studies comparing effects of whole-tree harvest with those of stem-only harvest have tended to show smaller carbon contents in the mineral soil after whole-tree harvest than after stem-only harvest, although once again results vary greatly. There are many factors affecting soil C content and thus accounting for the observed differences, including temperature, moisture content, and harvesting type. Variation in the results obtained may depend on site-specific factors such as site nutrient status, especially with regard to the most common limiting nutrient nitrogen, which will affect growth in the next rotation. Making sure there are enough nutrients available, if necessary by compensatory fertilisation, will improve carbon sequestration in both trees and soil.

Abstract

This report presents preliminary results from investigations on changes in soil water chemistry after stem-only and whole-tree harvesting at a site in eastern Norway, with emphasis on major nutrients, pH and dissolved organic carbon. For stem-only harvesting (SOH) and whole-tree harvesting where slash had been piled (WTH pile), concentrations of nitrate, calcium, magnesium, and potassium peaked in the second year after harvesting and again, but lower, in the third. Ammonium concentrations peaked in the year after harvesting. There was slight acidification after harvesting. No increased concentrations of dissolved organic carbon were observed. In general, trends were similar between SOH and WTH piles, compared to where slash had been removed to form the piles. Peaks in concentrations were higher for WTH piles compared to SOH. The results agree well with results from other field measurements reported in the scientific literature.

Abstract

Pathogen challenge of tree sapwood induces the formation of reaction zones with antimicrobial properties such as elevated pH and cation content. Many fungi lower substrate pH by secreting oxalic acid, its conjugate base oxalate being a reductant as well as a chelating agent for cations. To examine the role of oxalic acid in pathogenicity of white-rot fungi, we conducted spatial quantification of oxalate, transcript levels of related fungal genes, and element concentrations in heartwood of Norway spruce challenged naturally by Heterobasidion parviporum. In the pathogen-compromised reaction zone, upregulation of an oxaloacetase gene generating oxalic acid coincided with oxalate and cation accumulation and presence of calcium oxalate crystals. The colonized inner heartwood showed trace amounts of oxalate. Moreover, fungal exposure to the reaction zone under laboratory conditions induced oxaloacetase and oxalate accumulation, whereas heartwood induced a decarboxylase gene involved in degradation of oxalate. The excess level of cations in defense xylem inactivates pathogen-secreted oxalate through precipitation and, presumably, only after cation neutralization can oxalic acid participate in lignocellulose degradation. This necessitates enhanced production of oxalic acid by H. parviporum. This study is the first to determine the true influence of white-rot fungi on oxalate crystal formation in tree xylem.

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Abstract

Data from existing monitoring programmes such as ICP Forests, ICP Integrated Monitoring and EMEP, as well as from large-scale international projects such as CarboEurope IP and NitroEurope, can be used to answer questions about the impacts of air pollution and climate change on forest ecosystems and the feedbacks of forest to climate. However, for full use to be made of the available data, a number of questions need to be answered related to the availability, accessibility, quality and comparability of the data. For example, how can these databases be accessed, e.g., freely, over the internet, on request, by authorisation? How should intellectual property rights be protected, while improving access to data? What possibilities exist for harmonisation? Which quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) procedures have been used and for how long? These and other relevant questions are discussed.

Abstract

Based on intensive forest monitoring data, critical loads for acidification and eutrophication as well as their exceeedances were modelled for 107 Level II plots using the simple mass balance approach. Dynamic modelling using the VSD model was carried out for 77 plots using different deposition scenarios.Results show widespread soil acidification in the year 1980 with nearly 60% of the plots affected by critical load exceedances. A continued positive future development until 2020 is clearly visible, leading to full protection at least under the most ambitious deposition scenario.Critical loads for nutrient nitrogen were exceeded on 60% of the plots in 1980 and continue to be so in 2020 on between 10 and 30% of the plots depending on the scenario. Dynamic modelling shows that soil solution pH can recover to pre-industrial values but that over the all the 77 plots the C:N ratio shows a continuous decrease until 2050.A comparison with to measured solid soil pH from large scale plots confirms recovery for acidified soils until 2008 but shows increased acidification on soils with pH above 4.0. and points to the fact that full recovery from acidification will take decades. Decreasing C:N and continued exceedance of critical loads for nutrient nitrogen point to soil eutrophication as a major and continued area of concern.

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Abstract

We used two datasets of 14C analyses of archived soil samples to study carbon turnover in O horizons from spruce dominated old-growth stands on well-drained podzols in Scandinavia. The main data set was obtained from archived samples from the National Forest Soil Inventory in Sweden and represents a climatic gradient in temperature. Composite samples from 1966, 1972, 1983 and 2000 from four different regions in a latitude gradient ranging from 57 to 67º N were analysed for 14C content. Along this gradient the C stock in the O horizon ranges from 2.1 kg m-2 in the north to 3.7 kg m-2 in the southwest. The other data set contains 14C analyses from 1986, 1987, 1991, 1996 and 2004 from the O horizons in Birkenes, Norway. Mean residence times (MRT) were calculated using a two compartment model, with a litter decomposition compartment using mass loss data from the literature for the threefirst years of decomposition and a humus decomposition compartment with a fitted constant turnover rate. We hypothesized that the climatic gradient would result in different C turnover in different parts of the country between northern and southern Sweden. The use of archived soil samples was very valuable for constraining the MRT calculations, which showed that there were differences between the regions. Longest MRT was found in the northernmost region (41 years), with decreasing residence times through the middle (36 years) and central Sweden (28 years), then again increasing in the southwestern region (40 years). The size of the soil organic carbon (SOC) pool in the O horizon was mainly related to differences in litter input and to a lesser degree to MRT. Because N deposition leads both to larger litter input and to longer MRT, we suggest that N deposition contributes significantly to the latitudinal SOC gradient in Scandinavia, with approximately twice as much SOC in the O horizon in the south compared to the north. The data from Birkenes was in good agreement with the Swedish dataset with MRT estimated to 34 years.

Abstract

We used two datasets of 14C analyses of archived soil samples to study carbon turnover in O horizons from spruce dominated old-growth stands on well-drained podsols in Scandinavia. The main data set was obtained from archived samples from the National Forest Soil Inventory in Sweden and represents a climatic gradient in temperature. Composite samples from 1966, 1972, 1983 and 2000 from four different regions in a latitude gradient ranging from 57 to 67oN were analysed for 14C content. Along this gradient the C stock in the O horizon ranges from 2.1 kg m-2 in the north to 3.7 kg m-2 in the southwest. The other data set contains 14C analyses from 1986, 1987, 1991, 1996 and 2004 from the O horizons in Birkenes, Norway. Mean residence times (MRT) were calculated using a two compartment model, with a litter decomposition compartment using mass loss data from the literature for the three first years of decomposition and a humus decomposition compartment with a fitted constant turnover rate. We hypothesized that the climatic gradient would result in different C turnover in different parts of the country between northern and southern Sweden. The use of archived soil samples was very valuable for constraining the MRT calculations, which showed that there were differences between the regions. Longest MRT was found in the northernmost region (41 years), with decreasing residence times through the middle (36 years) and central Sweden (28 years), then again increasing in the southwestern region (40 years). The size of the soil organic carbon (SOC) pool in the O horizon was mainly related to differences in litter input and to a lesser degree to MRT. Because N deposition leads both to larger litter input and to longer MRT, we suggest that N deposition contributes significantly to the latitudinal SOC gradient in Scandinavia, with approximately twice as much SOC in the O horizon in the south compared to the north. The data from Birkenes was in good agreement with the Swedish dataset with MRT estimated to 34 years.

Abstract

The main task of the C1-Dep-22(SI) action was to compare national throughfall collectors with a harmonized collector which was designed according to the requirements of the WMO. The action spread onthe took place in very different climate zones and vegetation, and included a very different types of national collectors with different sampling procedures. The number of harmonized throughfall collectors was 30 for all participants. The spatial arrangement in the plot, sampling times, sampling and cleaning procedures, bulking of the subsamples and chemical analysis procedures were in all cases the national procedures. The time when the precipitation was in the form of snow was excluded from the sampling periods. The associated beneficiaries reported the amounts of the precipitation per collector and the results from chemical analysis per pooled sample. The measured quantities were compared for different types of forest or main tree species. The deviations between collectors were lower in the plots with the broadleaf trees than in the plots with conifers as the main tree species. The median deviations for conifers and for broadleaves trees is not significantly different from zero. Except in a few cases, a good agreement in the amount of precipitation was found between the national and harmonized collectors for both throughfall and bulk precipitation. In a few incidents this was not the case but we assume that where this was not the case, this was due to happened in extreme weather conditions e. g. heavy storms. Also good agreement was also found within for the chemical composition of the solutions, gathered with different types of collectors. Again, there were some deviations limited to on single occasions. It was found that the harmonized collectors were attractive to birds and thus a bird ring is a must in this (white) -coloured version of the collector. Chemical analysis (chemical composition) together with the collected amount of the solution depends on give the total deposition values. It was made a close up to the deposition values of ammonium-nitrogen, nitrate-nitrogen and sulphate-sulphur were compared in detail. For ammonium-nitrogen no bigger difference was found for the one-year deposition values except in one case what which turned out to be almost certainly a consequence of birds activity. Differences in all other cases were no more than 0.3 g m-2 yr-1. For nitrate-nitrogen smaller deviations were found but in none of the case was the difference was in total annual deposition higher than 0.3 g m-2 yr-1. For sulphate-sulphur good agreement was found for all associated beneficiaries except two. One of the Possible reasons could be in the difference of in the ability in collecting dry deposition and/or the total area which contributes to the capturing area for dry deposition. Despite their heterogeneity and some unlack of adaptation for representative sampling at the plot scale, the national devices for throughfall collection gave comparable results infor throughfall deposition to the harmonized, optimal collectors. In conclusion national throughfall collection devices can be maintained to ensure the continuity of the time series in deposition monitoring. And to improve the harmonized collector even more, problems with the possible blockages of the tube at the bottom of the funnel because of debris should be solved.

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Abstract

Science-based approaches in addressing future risks and challenges for forests require close collaboration among the communities operating different monitoring and research networks as well as experts in process and large-scale modelling. Results of the COST FP0903 conference which took place in October 2010 in Rome, reveal valuable results from different European forest monitoring and research networks. However, the need for closer integration of these activities is obvious. In this paper, representatives from major European networks recommend a new approach for forest monitoring and research in Europe, based on a reasonable number of highly instrumented “supersites” and a larger number of intensive monitoring plots linked to these. This system needs to be built on existing infrastructures but requires increased coordination, harmonisation and a joint long term platform for data exchange and modelling.

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Abstract

In recent years the harmonization of methods in the frame of the International Co-operative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (ICP Forests) operating under the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) has been intensified. Among the C-actions of the FutMon project (LIFE07 ENV/D/000218; 2009-2010) the C1-Dep-22(SI) action was established with the goal to harmonize and develop the deposition monitoring procedures and sampling methods. The sampling equipment, spatial design of sampling plots and sampling frequency throughout Europe vary considerably. Therefore a step-by-step approach was made where the harmonized sampling equipment was developed and tested first. The selected collectors were installed at one observation plot of each participating country where measurements of throughfall and bulk deposition were run in parallel with the national collectors for a period of one year. To evaluate the agreement between methods, different statistical analyses were used including Altman-Bland plots, model II regression, and repeated measures ANOVA. Preliminary results from the “Intensive forest ecosystem monitoring plot” plot Brdo in NW Slovenia show a good agreement between national and harmonized bulk (both funnel-type) collectors, while comparison of throughfall measurements indicates systematic bias between harmonized (funnel-type) and national (gutter-type) collectors.

Abstract

A second Working Ring Test (WRT) was organised within the framework of the EU/Life+ FutMon Project (`Further Development and Implementation of an EU-level Forest Monitoring System`, LIFE07 ENV/D/000218), to evaluate the overall performance of the laboratories responsible for analysing atmospheric deposition and soil solution samples in European forests, and to verify improvements in the analytical quality resulting from the QA/QC work carried out in the laboratories which participated in previous WRTs organized in the framework of the UN/ECE ICP Forests Monitoring Programme. The WRT was carried out in accordance with International ISO and ILAG guide proficiency test both for sample preparation and numerical elaboration of the results. Five natural atmospheric deposition and soil solution samples and 3 synthetic solutions were distributed to 42 laboratories for analysis using their routine methods for the following variables: pH, conductivity, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, ammonium, sulphate, nitrate, chloride, total alkalinity, total dissolved nitrogen (TDN), dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Two tolerable limits were defined for each variable on the basis of the measured value, the results of previous WRTs, a comparison with the Data Quality Objectives of other international networks, and the importance of the variable in deposition and soil solution monitoring. In the ring test 12% of the results from all the laboratories did not fall within the tolerable limits. This enabled us to identify those variables and laboratories for which improvements in analytical performance are required. The results of the exercise clearly show that the use of data check procedures, as described in the ICP Forests manual for sampling and analysis of atmospheric deposition, makes it possible to detect the presence of inaccurate or outlying results, and would therefore greatly improve the overall performance of the laboratories. A discussion of the improvement of the results in this WRT compared to the previous WRTs is also included, showing a relevant improvent for several variables and underlining the importance of participating to these exercises for the overall analytical quality of the monitoring network.

Abstract

Chlorine - one of the most widespread elements on the Earth - is present in the environment as chloride ion or bound to organic substances. The main source of chloride ions is the oceans while organically bound chlorine (OCl) comes from various sources, including anthropogenic ones. Chlorinated organic compounds were long considered to be only industrial products; nevertheless, organochlorines occur plentifully in natural ecosystems. However, recent investigations in temperate and boreal forest ecosystems have shown them to be products of biodegradation of soil organic matter under participation of chlorine. It is important to understand both the inorganic and organic biogeochemical cycling of chlorine in order to understand processes in the forest ecosystem and dangers as a result of human activities, i.e. emission and deposition of anthropogenic chlorinated compounds as well as those from natural processes. The minireview presented below provides a survey of contemporary knowledge of the state of the art and a basis for investigations of formation and degradation of organochlorines and monitoring of chloride and organochlorines in forest ecosystems, which has not been carried out in the Czech Republic yet.

Abstract

Concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in throughfall and soil solutions at 5, 15 and 40-cm depth were studied in 16 Norway spruce and two Scots pine plots throughout Norway between 1996 and 2006 (Wu et al. 2010a). Average DOC concentrations ranged from 2.3 to 23.1 mg/l and from 1.1 to 53.5 mg/l in throughfall water and soil solutions, respectively. Concentrations of DOC in throughfall and soil waters varied seasonally at most plots with peaks in the growing season. In contrast to reported positive long-term trends in DOC concentrations in surface waters between 1986 and 2003, soil water data from 1996 to 2006 showed largely negative trends in DOC concentrations and no significant trends in throughfall. However, regression analysis for individual sites, particularly at 5- and 15-cm soil depths, showed that DOC concentrations in soil water were significantly and negatively related to non-marine sulphate and chloride. Further studies were carried out on dissolved organic nitrogen (DON, Wu et al. 2010b). Dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) concentrations were significantly and positively correlated to DOC concentrations in throughfall (r2=0.72, p<0.0001) and soil water at 5, 15, and 40 cm (r2=0.86, 0.32, and 0.84 and p<0.0001, 0.04, and <0.0001, respectively). At most sites, the annual median DOC/DON ratio in throughfall ranged from 20.3 to 55.5, while values in soil water were higher, ranging from 24.5 to 81.3 but gradually decreasing with soil depth. DON concentrations varied seasonally in throughfall at many plots and in soil water at 5 cm depth at one plot only, with higher values in the growing season, but there was no noticeable seasonality at greater depth. The ratios of DOC/DON in soil water were significantly positively related to the C/N ratio in soil at the same depth. Above-ground litter input was the main factor having a significant, negative relationship to DOC/DON in soil water at all depths studied. This might reflect the effect of site conditions on both DOC/DON ratios and litter quantity. A comparison of DOC and DON concentrations and fluxes at two Norwegian sites (Birkenes and Hirkjølen) and five Finnish Level II plots (Tammela, Juupajoki, Uusikaarlepyy, Kivalo and Pallasjärvi) showed no obvious correlation between concentrations and site and stand properties such as growing season length, temperature, precipitation, stand age, or soil C or N. DOC concentrations in the O horizon could not be linked to N deposition. However, there were clear within-site seasonal trends, compatible with an effect of temperature on microbial activity.

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Abstract

We investigated concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in throughfall and soil solutions at 5, 15 and 40-cm depth in 16 Norway spruce and two Scots pine plots throughout Norway between 1996 and 2006. Average DOC concentrations ranged from 2.3 to 23.1 mg/l and from 1.1 to 53.5 mg/l in throughfall water and soil solutions, respectively. Concentrations of DOC in throughfall and soil waters varied seasonally at most plots with peaks in the growing season. By contrast to recently reported positive long-term trends in DOC concentrations in surface waters between 1986 and 2003, soil water data from 1996 to 2006 showed largely negative trends in DOC concentrations and no significant trends in throughfall. However, regression analysis for individual sites, particularly at 5- and 15-cm soil depths, showed that DOC concentrations in soil water were significantly and negatively related to non-marine sulphate (SO4) and chloride (Cl-). The lack of a long-term increase in DOC in soil water in the period May 1996-December 2006 may be due to the relatively small changes in the deposition of SO4 and Cl- in this period.

Abstract

We investigated concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in throughfall and soil solutions at 5, 15 and 40 cm depth in 16 Norway spruce and 2 Scots pine plots throughout Norway between 1996 and 2006. Average DOC concentrations ranged from 2.3 mg/l to 23.1 mg/l and from 1.1 mg/l to 53.5 mg/l in throughfall water and soil solutions, respectively. Concentrations of DOC in throughfall and soil waters varied seasonally at most plots with peaks in the growing season. By contrast to recently reported positive long-term trends in DOC concentrations in surface waters between 1986 and 2003, soil water data from 1996 to 2006 showed largely negative trends in DOC concentrations and no significant trends in throughfall. However, regression analysis for individual sites, particularly at 5 and 15 cm soil depths, showed that DOC concentrations in soil water were significantly and negatively related to non-marine sulphate (SO4) and chloride (Cl-). The lack of a long-term increase in DOC in soil water in the period May 1996 – December, 2006 may be due to the relatively small changes in the deposition of SO4 and Cl- in this period.

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Abstract

Dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) plays an important ecological role in forest ecosystems, and its concentration is related to that of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). We investigated DON concentrations and ratios of DOC to DON in throughfall and soil waters in 16 Norway spruce and two Scots pine forest stands sampled at weekly intervals between 1996 and 2006. The stands are all included in the ICP Forests Level II monitoring program and are located throughout Norway. DON concentrations were significantly and positively related to DOC concentrations in throughfall (r (2) = 0.72, p < 0.0001) and soil water at 5, 15, and 40 cm (r (2) = 0.86, 0.32, and 0.84 and p < 0.0001, 0.04, and < 0.0001, respectively). At most sites, the annual median DOC/DON ratio in throughfall ranged from 20.3 to 55.5, which is lower than values in soil water, which ranged from 24.5 to 81.3, gradually decreasing with soil depth. DON concentrations varied seasonally in throughfall at many plots and in soil water at 5-cm depth at one plot only, with higher values in the growing season, but there was no noticeable seasonality at greater depth. The ratios of DOC/DON in soil water were significantly positively related to the C/N ratio in soil at the same depth. Above-ground litter input was the main factor having a significant, negative relationship to DOC/DON in soil water at all depths studied. This might reflect the effect of site conditions on both DOC/DON ratios and litter quantity.

Abstract

The effects of genetically modified (GM) maize (Zea mays L.) expressing the Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner Cry1Fa2 protein (Bt) and phosphinothricin or glyphosate herbicide tolerance on soil chemistry (organic matter, N, P, K and pH), compared with non-GM controls, were assessed in field and pot experiments. In the field experiment, NH4+ was significantly higher in soil under the crop modified for herbicide tolerance compared to the control (mean values of 11 and 9.6 mg N/kg respectively) while P was significantly higher in soil under the control compared to under the GM crop (mean values of 6.9 and 6.4 dg P/kg, respectively). No significant differences were found as a result of growing Bt/herbicide tolerant maize. In the pot experiment, using soils from three sites (Gongzhuling, Dehui and Huadian), significant effects of using Bt maize instead of conventional maize were found for all three soils. In the Gongzhuling soil, P was significantly higher in soil under the control compared to under the GM crop (mean values of 4.8 and 4.0 dg P/kg, respectively). For the Dehui soil, the pH was significantly higher in soil under the control compared to under the GM crop (mean values for {H+} of 1.1 and 2.4 μM for the control and the GM crop respectively). In the Huadian soil, organic matter and total N were both higher in soil under the GM crop than under the control. For organic matter, the mean values were 3.0 and 2.9% for the GM crop and the control, respectively, while for total nitrogen the mean values were 2.02 and 1.96‰ for the GM crop and the control respectively. Our results indicate that growing GM crops instead of conventional crops may alter soil chemistry, but not greatly, and that effects will vary with both the specific genetic modification and the soil.

Abstract

The halogens, most importantly fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and iodine, occur in nature as ions and compounds, including organic compounds. Halogenated organic substances (haloorganics) were long considered purely anthropogenic products; however, they are in addition a commonly occurring and important part of natural ecosystems. Natural haloorganics are produced largely by living organisms, although abiotic production occurs as well. A survey is given of processes of formation, transport, and degradation of haloorganics in temperate and boreal forests, predominantly in Europe. More work is necessary in order to understand the environmental impact of haloorganics in temperate and boreal forest soils. This includes both further research, especially to understand the key processes of formation and degradation of halogenated compounds, and monitoring of the substances in question in forest ecosystems. It is also important to understand the effect of various forest management techniques on haloorganics, as management can be used to produce desired effects.

Abstract

A Working Ring Test (WRT) was organised within the framework of the EU/Life+ FutMon Project (`Further Development and Implementation of an EU-level Forest Monitoring System`, LIFE07 ENV/D/000218), to evaluate the overall performance of the laboratories responsible for analysing atmospheric deposition and soil solution samples in European forests, and to verify improvements in the analytical quality resulting from the QA/QC work carried out in the laboratories which participated in previous WRTs organized in the framework of the UN/ECE ICP Forests Monitoring Programme. The WRT was carried out in accordance with International ISO and ILAG guide proficiency test both for sample preparation and numerical elaboration of the results. Four natural atmospheric deposition and soil solution samples and 4 synthetic solutions were distributed to 44 laboratories for analysis using their routine methods for the following variables: pH, conductivity, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, ammonium, sulphate, nitrate, chloride, total alkalinity, total dissolved nitrogen (TDN), dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Two tolerable limits were defined for each variable on the basis of the measured value, the results of previous WRTs, a comparison with the Data Quality Objectives of other international networks, and the importance of the variable in deposition and soil solution monitoring. In the ring test 16% of the results from all the laboratories did not fall within the tolerable limits. This enabled us to identify those variables and laboratories for which improvements in analytical performance are required. The results of the exercise clearly show that the use of data check procedures, as described in the ICP Forests manual for sampling and analysis of atmospheric deposition, makes it possible to detect the presence of inaccurate or outlying results, and would therefore greatly improve the overall performance of the laboratories. Some of the analytical methods used by individual laboratories were found to be unsuitable for the samples included in this WRT, and therefore also for the routine analysis of atmospheric deposition and soil solution samples in European forests. These methods included outdated methods, such as turbidimetry or nephelometry for the determination of sulphate, silver nitrate titration and ion selective electrode for chloride, Kjeldahl digestion for the determination of ammonium and organic nitrogen, and colorimetric titrations for alkalinity. A detailed discussion of the determination of total alkalinity is also given in the report because this variable was associated with the most analytical problems.

Abstract

In Norway, it is planned to double the stationary use of bioenergy from all sources by up to 14 TWh before 2020, with much of this increase coming from forest resources, including residues like branches and tops (which are not much used today) being removed after tree harvest. This removal will reduce the supply of nutrients and organic matter to the forest soil, and may in the longer term increase the risk for future nutrient imbalance, reduced forest production, and changes in biodiversity and ground vegetation species composition. However, field experiments have found contrasting results (e.g. Johnson and Curtis 2001; Olsson et al. 1996). Soil effects of increased biomass removal will be closely related to soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics, litter quality, and turnover rates. The SOM pool is derived from a balance between above- and below-ground input of plant material and decomposition of both plants and SOM. Harvest intensity may affect the decomposition of existing SOM as well as the build-up of new SOM from litter and forest residues, by changing factors like soil temperature and moisture as well as amount and type of litter input. Changes in input of litter with different nutrient concentrations and decomposition patterns along with changes in SOM decomposition will affect the total storage of carbon, nitrogen and other vital nutrients in the soil. To quantify how different harvesting regimes lead to different C addition to soil, and to determine which factors have the greatest effect on decomposition of SOM under different environmental conditions, two Norway spruce forest systems will be investigated in the context of a research project starting in 2008/2009, one in eastern and one in western Norway, representing different climatic and landscape types. At each location, two treatment regimes will be tested: Conventional harvesting, with residues left on-site (CH) Aboveground whole-tree harvest, with branches, needles, and tops removed (WTH). Input of different forest residues will be quantified post harvest. Soil water at 30 cm soil depth will be analysed for nutrients and element fluxes will be estimated to provide information about nutrient leaching. Soil respiration will be measured, along with lab decomposition studies under different temperature and moisture regimes. Long term in situ decomposition studies will be carried out in the WTH plots using three different tree compartments (needles, coarse twigs, fine roots) decomposing in litter bags, in order to determine their limit value. The structure of the fungal community will be determined by soil core sampling and use of molecular techniques allowing qualitative and quantitative estimation. Understorey vegetation will be sampled to determine the biomass, and the frequency of all vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens will be estimated. After harvesting, replanting will be carried out. Seedling survival, causes of mortality and potential damage, growth, and needle nutrients will be monitored. Results from these studies will be used to identify key processes explaining trends observed in two series of ongoing long-term whole-tree thinning trials. We shall combine knowledge obtained using field experiments with results of modelling and data from the Norwegian Monitoring Programme for Forest Damage and National Forest Inventory. This will help us to predict and map the ecologically most suitable areas for increased harvesting of branches and tops on a regional scale based on current knowledge, and to identify uncertainties and additional knowledge needed to improve current predictions.

Abstract

Of the 41 countries participating in ICP Forests, 27 countries reported national results of crown condition surveys in the year 2008 for 210 964 trees on 14 786 plots. The transnational result on the European-wide scale relied on 111 560 trees on 5 002 plots of the 16 x 16 km grid in 25 out of 35 participating countries. Mean defoliation of all sample trees of the transnational survey was 20.2%. Of the main species, Quercus robur and Q. petraea had by far the highest mean defoliation (24.9%), followed by Fagus sylvatica (19.4%), Picea abies (19.3%) and Pinus sylvestris (18.2%). These figures are not comparable to those of previous reports because of fluctuations in the plot sample, mainly due to changes in the participation of countries. Therefore, the long-term development of defoliation was calculated from the monitoring results of those countries which have been submitting data since 1990 every year without interruption. In the period of observation the species group Quercus ilex and Quercus rotundifolia shows the severest increase in defoliation, with 10.3% in 1990 and 21.2% in 2008. A similar increase in defoliation, namely from 11.1% to 20.4%, was experienced by Pinus pinaster. Defoliation of these Mediterranean species is largely attributed to several summer drought events. Defoliation of Fagus sylvatica increased from 17.9% to 19.7%. In contrast, Picea abies, Quercus robur and Quercus petraea and in particular Pinus sylvestris recuperated from peaks in defoliation in the mid 1990s. The spatial and temporal variation of bulk deposition and throughfall of sulphate, nitrate, ammonium, calcium, sodium and chlorine was analysed as a basis of ongoing and future studies. Between 174 and 302 intensive monitoring plots were involved in the study. Mean deposition of the years 2004 - 2006 shows spatial patterns reflecting partly regional emission situations. The temporal variation was calculated for the period 2001 - 2006. Sulphur throughfall decreased from 6.0 kg ha-1 yr-1 in 2001 to 4.5 kg ha-1 yr-1 in 2006. Bulk deposition of sulphur shows a similar decrease at a lower level, namely from 4.9 kg ha-1 yr-1 in 2001 to 3.6 kg ha-1 yr-1 in 2006 (corrected for sea salt input). Nitrogen deposition shows a less pronounced rate of decrease.

Abstract

Growth of Norway spruce (Picea abies) trees and nitrogen deposition were analysed at about 500 forest plots throughout Norway in six fiveyear periods from 1977 to 2006. Growth was calculated from five repeated calliper measurements of all trees during this period and using treering series from increment cores of a subsample of trees. From the growth data a `relative growth` variable was extracted, being the deviation in % between observed and expected growth rates. The expected growth was estimated from growth models based on site productivity, age and stand density at each plot. The plots were categorized into four age classes. The nitrogen deposition was estimated for each plot for the same five year periods by geographical interpolation of deposition observations at monitoring stations made by the Norwegian Institute for Air Research. Nitrogen deposition from 1977 to 2006 ranged from 1 to 24 kg/ha/yr at the study plots, with about 15 kg/ha/yr in the southernmost region and 3 kg/ha/yr in the northern region of Norway. For the entire 30year period we found a long term relationship between growth and nitrogen deposition, corresponding to a forest growth increase of 0.7% per kg total nitrogen deposition per hectare and year (r2 = 0.13). This is in line with studies carried out on other data sets and for shorter time periods. This apparent fertilizing effect was most pronounced for the youngest forest, while the effect was weak for the oldest forest. The growth increase was observed in the southernmost part of Norway, the region with the highest nitrogen deposition. However, the relationship between nitrogen deposition and growth varied considerably between the time periods. In two of the periods the relationship was slightly negative: these periods corresponded well with summer droughts occurring in the southernmost part of Norway. Drought, as well as other climatic factors, will influence the shortterm variations in forest growth and may obscure the fertilizing effect of nitrogen deposition in some periods. In conclusion, nitrogen deposition has most likely increased growth in Norway spruce in southern Norway. However, our study also shows that inferences from such correlative studies should be drawn with care if the growth period is shorter than 10–15 years because climatic factors produce temporal variations in the relationship between nitrogen deposition and forest growth.

Abstract

Over the past years considerable efforts have been made to improve the quality of laboratory analyses in the various monitoring programmes within the framework of the ICP Forests programme. The Soil and Soil Solution, Deposition and Foliage and Litterfall expert panels have carried out a number of ring tests and held discussions on quality control. The expert panels’ subgroup, \"Working Group on QA/QC in Laboratories\", has extended its activities from the quality control of water analyses to encompass all forms of laboratory analysis, and now also includes experts in the fields of soil, foliage and litterfall. This paper presents all the quality control methods that have been devised for the relevant fields of analytical chemistry. The aim is to provide those laboratories carrying out analyses within the ICP Forests programme with a complete overview of the possibilities of applying quality control in their laboratories.

Abstract

A Working Group on Quality Assurance/Quality Control of analyses in laboratories active in the chemical analysis of atmospheric deposition and soil water has been created within the framework of the Integrated Co-operative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (UN-ECE/ICP Forests) and the EU/Forest Focus Programme (Regulation 2152/2003). This paper is a follow up to an earlier paper dealing with the validation of chemical analyses, in which validation techniques (ion balance, comparison between measured and calculated conductivity, Na/Cl ratio and relationship between different forms of N) were tested on a set of real analysis data obtained from different laboratories. This paper focuses on the validation of chemical analysis of samples containing high dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations ( 5 mg C L-1), where the ion balance criterion fails because of the presence of weak organic acids. About 6000 chemical analyses of bulk open field, throughfall and stemflow samples, which contained complete sets of all ion concentrations, conductivity and DOC, produced in 8 different laboratories, were used to calculate empirical relationships between DOC and the difference between the sum of cations and the sum of anions, with the aim to evaluate a formal charge per mg of organic C...

Abstract

The substitution of biomass for fossil fuels in energy consumption is a measure to mitigate global warming, as well as having other advantages. Political action plans for increased use exist at both European and national levels. This paper briefly reviews the contents of recommendations, guidelines, and other synthesis publications on sustainable use of forest biomass for energy. Topics are listed and an overview of advantages, disadvantages, and trade-offs between them is given, from the viewpoint of society in general and the forestry and energy sectors in particular. For the Nordic and Baltic countries, the paper also identifies the extent to which wood for energy is included in forest legislation and forest certification standards under the ?Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification? (PEFC) and the ?Forest Stewardship Council? (FSC) schemes. Energy and forest policies at EU and national levels, and European PEFC forest standards are analysed. With respect to energy policies, the utilisation of wood for energy is generally supported in forest policies, but forest legislation is seldom used as a direct tool to encourage the utilisation of wood for energy. Regulations sometimes restrict use for environmental reasons. Forest certification standards include indicators directly related to the utilisation of wood for energy under several criteria, with most occurrences found under environmental criteria. Roles and problems in relation to policy, legislation, certification standards, recommendations and guidelines, and science are discussed.

Abstract

The substitution of biomass for fossils fuels in energy consumption is a measure to mitigate global warming, as well as having other advantages. Political action plans for increased use exist at both European and national levels. This paper briefly reviews the contents of recommendations, guidelines and other synthesis publications on sustainable use of forest biomass for energy. Topics are listed and an overview of advantages, disadvantages and trade-offs between them is given, from the viewpoint of society in general and the forestry and energy sectors in particular. For the Nordic and Baltic countries, the paper also identifies the extent to which wood for energy is included in forest legislation and forest certification standards under the “Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification” (PEFC) and the “Forest Stewardship Council” (FSC) schemes. Energy and forest policies at EU and national levels, and European PEFC forest standards are analysed. With respect to energy policies, the utilisation of wood for energy is generally supported in forest policies, but forest legislation is seldom used as a direct tool to encourage the utilisation of wood for energy. Regulations sometimes restrict use for environmental reasons. Forest certification standards include indicators directly related to the utilisation of wood for energy under several criteria, with most occurrences found under environmental criteria. Roles and problems in relation to policy, legislation, certification standards, recommendations and guidelines, and science are discussed.

Abstract

Dissolved aluminium was fractionated in the field and the laboratory using a cation exchange method. Although absolute differences between results obtained from field and laboratory fractionations were generally small, relative differences, expressed as the ratio between labile aluminium determined after laboratory fractionation (Alll) and that obtained after field fractionation (Allf), could be large. The differences found were not statistically significant, although this may simply reflect the spread in the results. Alll/Allf had no apparent relationship with the temperature difference between the field and the lab. Although some significant correlations were found between Alll/Allf and H+, no significant correlations were found with the equivalent relative difference in {H+} between the lab and the field. Neither was any significant correlation found with dissolved organic carbon.

Abstract

Working Ring Test (WRT) was organised in the framework of the EU Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003 (`Forest Focus`) and of the UN/ECE Program `ICP Forests` in order to evaluate the overall performance of the laboratories monitoring atmospheric deposition and soil solution in European Forests, and to verify the improvement in the analytical quality as the results of the QA/QC work carried out in the laboratories which participated to a previous WRT. Seven natural samples of atmospheric deposition and soil solutions and 5 synthetic solutions were distributed to 52 laboratories, which analysed them using their routine method for the following variables: pH, conductivity, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, ammonium, sulphate, nitrate, chloride, total alkalinity, phosphate, total dissolved nitrogen, dissolved organic carbon, aluminium, copper, iron, manganese, zinc, total phosphorus, total sulphur and silica. For each variable, a Data Quality Objective was defined, based on the results of the previous WRT, the comparison with the DQOs of other international networks, and the importance of the variable in deposition and soil solution monitoring. It resulted that 38% of the results do not meet the DQO, showing for which variables and in which laboratories improvement in analytical performance is needed. The results of the exercise clearly show that the use of data check procedures, as those described in the ICP Forests manual for sampling and analysis of atmospheric deposition, would make it possible to detect the presence of outliers or results not accurate, and would greatly improve the overall performance of the laboratories. Some analytical methods were found not suitable to the samples used in this WRT, nor to atmospheric deposition samples in European forests, and they include outdated methods, such as turbidimetry or nephelometry for the determination of sulphate, silver nitrate titration and ion selective electrode for chloride, Kjeldahl digestion for the determination of ammonium and organic nitrogen, and colorimetric titrations for alkalinity. A detailed discussion of the analyses of total dissolved nitrogen, dissolved organic carbon and total alkalinity is also provided, as they were the variables for which more analytical difficulty arose. Finally, a comparison between the results of this WRT and those of the previous exercise showed that the analytical performance of the laboratories participating in both WRTs improved as a consequence of the adoption of QA/QC procedures.

Abstract

The paper describes the development of the two involved nurseries and the reforestation efforts and results on the two experimental sites at Munda and in Mahamaya

Abstract

Impact assessment for a proposed LNG plant has been carried out for three potential locations in northwest Russia. The impact from the plant is small, and the critical loads for terrestrial ecosystems and aquatic ecosystems will not be exceeded at any of the 3 locations.

Abstract

The substitution of biomass for fossil fuels in energy consumption is a measure to mitigate global warming, and political action plans at European and national levels exist for an increased use. The use of forest biomass for energy can imply different economic and environmental advantages and disadvantages for the society, the energy sector and forestry. For the achievement of an increased and sustainable use of forest biomass for energy, the WOOD-EN-MAN project aimed at synthesis and creation of new knowledge within the field.

Abstract

Root and needle litter are the most important sources of organic carbon in forest soils. Their decomposition is thus important for the long-term storage of C in, and release of CO2 from, the soil. Different components in the organic matter will decompose with different speeds. NIRS (Near InfraRed Spectroscopy) is a relatively simple and promising way of analysing the composition of organic matter, but its use in forest soil and litter studies has been limited up to now. We will present preliminary results from litter decomposition studies in two forest ecosystems: Picea abies stands (30 and 120 years old) from Nordmoen, Norway, and uneven-aged P. abies stands with a mean age of 90 years and under different N treatments at Gårdsjön, Sweden. ags with litter collected from the stands have been buried in the soil for different time periods and have been analysed using a CHN-analyzer and NIRS. Two aspects will be discussed: a) model calibration and validation for C and N concentrations, and b) assessment of decomposability using NIRS.

Abstract

The quantitative expression and the regulation of chitinase-encoding genes ech30, ech42 and nag1 in Trichoderma atroviride P1 under varying growth conditions were investigated using real-time RTPCR, principle component and multivariate analyses. Twelve media combinations including 0.1% and 3% glucose as carbon source and no (0 mmol/L), low (10 mmol/L) and high (100 mmol/L)ammonium acetate as nitrogen source combined with or without colloidal chitin at 3 time intervals and 2 replications were applied to current study. The real-time RT-PCR analysis showed that the expression of ech30, ech42 and nag1 was regulated by the interaction of nitrogen, glucose and chitin under different growth conditions. The highest and earliest expressions of ech30 were induced by glucose and nitrogen starvation i.e. 0.1% glucose and 10 mmol/L ammonium acetate in the growth media. This was also the case for ech42 and nag1 but at a relatively low level. In contrast, high (3 %) glucose and high (100 mmol/L) ammonium acetate concentrations repressed the expression of all the genes studied. These results were confirmed by principle component and multivariate analyses.The effect of chitin on ech30, ech42 and nag1 expression varied depending on the concentrations of glucose and ammonium acetate.

Abstract

Concentrations and fluxes of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and dissolved organic nitrogen (DON), together with pools of carbon and nitrogen in the soil and biomass, were determined along north-south and east-west transects across Norway, Sweden and Finland. The data were analysed statistically and modelled using the mechanistic model DyDOC.Concentrations of DOC and DON were greatest in the O horizon and decreased downwards in the soil. The highest production of dissolved organic matter appears to take place in the O horizon and any contribution from thoroughfall is probably small. A pronounced seasonal effect with peak DOC concentrations in late summer/early autumn may be due to a seasonal (largely temperature) effect on DOC production.The effect of acidic precipitation upon DOC concentrations and fluxes was unclear. DOC in the O horizon was mostly of recent origin, while DOC in the B horizon appeared to include some older material, possibly desorbed from the soil. A positive correlation was found with electrical conductivity and a negative correlation with pH in DOC concentrations from the O horizon.A lack of correlation between DOC concentrations and temperature is probably due to a time lag between peak temperatures and peak DOC concentrations. Modelling of DOC concentrations and fluxes using DyDOC gave rasonable results, suggesting that it might be possible to use DyDOC as a general tool for modelling and forecasting DOC concentrations and fluxes in Nordic forest ecosytems.Scenario analysis using DyDOC suggested that increased temperature without increased litter input might result in increased production of CO2 rather than DOC. An increase in both temperature and litter input would lead to increased DOC concentrations, with possible implications for drinking water quality. Increased precipitation will lead to increased fluxes of DOC.

Abstract

In natural waters, total organic carbon (TOC) is the sum of particulate and dissolved organic carbon. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is operationally defined, usually as organic carbon that passes through a 0.45 µm filter. Cellulose acetate or nitrate filters should not be used for this purpose due to contamination or adsorption problems. Glass fibre filters are preferable. Although the discussion below concerns DOC, much of it applies to TOC as well. Organic carbon is most often determined after oxidation to CO2 using combustion, an oxidant such as persulphate, UV or other high-energy radiation, or a combination of some of these. If only UV radiation with oxygen as oxidant is used, low DOC values may be obtained in the presence of humic substances. A variety of methods are used for detection, including infrared spectrometry, titration and flame ionization detection after reduction to methane. Always follow the instrument manufacturer’s instructions. For determination of dissolved organic carbon, dissolved inorganic carbon must be either removed by purging the acidified (for example with phosphoric acid) sample with a gas which is free from CO2 and organic compounds, or determined and subtracted from the total dissolved carbon. If acidification followed by purging is used, care should be taken as volatile organic compounds may also be lost. After acidification, remove CO2 by blowing a stream of pure carbon-free inert gas through the system for at least 5 minutes. Carbon is ubiquitous in nature, so reagents, water, and glassware cannot be completely cleaned of it. Method interferences (positive bias) may be caused by contaminants in the carrier gas, dilution water, reagents, glassware, or other sample processing hardware (for example a homogenization device). All of these materials must be routinely demonstrated to be free from interference under the conditions of analysis by running reagent blanks. Plastic bottles can bleed carbon into water samples, especially when they are new, or when they are used for low-level samples (less than 200 ppb C). Any new bottles (especially plastic) should ideally be filled with clean water for a period of several days or boiled in water for a few hours before use. The use of high purity or purified reagents and gases helps to minimise interference problems. It is very important to use ultra-pure water with a carbon filter or boiled distilled water just before preparing stock and standard solutions, in order to remove dissolved CO2. The stock solution should not be kept too long (about one week). For most DOC instruments a correction for DOC (due to dissolved CO2) in the dilution water used for calibration standards is necessary, especially for standards below 10 ppm C. The carbon in the blank should only be subtracted from standards and not from samples. For calibration, standard solutions are most often potassium hydrogen phthalate for total dissolved carbon and sodium bicarbonate for dissolved inorganic carbon. The DOC concentration should be within the working range of the calibration. If necessary the sample can be diluted. Sample DOC below about 50 ppb C can be affected by atmospheric exposure. In these cases, sampling bottles should be kept closed when possible, and autosampler vials should be equipped with septa for needle piercing by the autosampler.

Abstract

The project reported here was a co-operation between the National Focal Centers for four of the ICPs in Norway: ICP Mapping and Modeling, ICP Waters, ICP Forest and ICP Integrated Monitoring. Dynamic modeling was carried out using data from several sites in the ICP networks, with the aim of making predictions on the future acidification status for surface waters, forest and soils in Norway. Predictions are made for three different deposition scenarios. At two of the sites, the model predictions suggest that the Current Legislation scenario will not promote water qualities sufficient for sustainable fish populations, while the scenario seems sufficient for the others. Under the Maximum Feasible Reduction scenario one of the sites still will not reach a sufficiently high ANC. In general, the modeling results for forest soils agree with results from previous investigations stating that surface water acidification is more severe than the soil acidification. However, the results suggest that there has been soil acidification at all sites as a result of acid deposition and that the base saturation will not be built up again to pre-industrial levels during the next 50 years at any of the sites, not even with the Maximum Feasible Reduction Scenario.

Abstract

The Norwegian intensive monitoring programme of forest condition has recorded rainfall, throughfall and soil water data from 1986 at 16 forest plots. Using covariance analysis, this study has examined short term and episodic influences on soil water ionic concentration at three of the plots, and identified both seasonal and long-term temporal trends. Acidity has decreased in bulk precipitation and throughfall, and the concentrations of base cations in the organic soil horizon have increased. Nevertheless, there is evidence of continued acidification in the organic and mineral soil horizons, though of a small scale. The influence of sea salt and drought effects on soil water chemistry are examined, but found to be unimportant in causing acidification effects such as increased soil aluminium concentration.

Abstract

DyDOC identifies three soil horizons with different properties. Within each horizon the transport of wter, metabolic transformations of organic matter, and sorption of potential DOC are simulated. The model is parameterised by fitting experimental laboratory and field data, including 14C signals. The outputs are quasi-steady state C pools, varying on long timescales (centuries) and daily DOC concentrations and fluxes.

Abstract

Materials and Methods: In the field, fresh samples were obtained from different sources. Lake samples were collected from Lake Årungen, which is located in Ås. Stream samples were collected from Ås and Birkenes in southern Norway. All the samples were filtered in the field through 0.45 um membrane filters using syringes. Then the samples were fractionated through Bond Elut SCX cartridges connected to a portable vacuum pump, based on the method of Wickstrøm et al. (2000). A portion of the sample was passed immediately through the cation exchange cartridge. After the fieldwork another portion of the sample was taken to the laboratory where the same fractionation procedure was applied. These two fractions were then analysed for non-labile aluminium. A portion of the unfractionated sample was also analysed for total dissolved aluminium. An additional laboratory fractionation with a time lag was also applied to observe storage effects. Subsequent determination of total elements was done using ICP-AES. Transport, pretreatment and storage can also have an effect on the pH and organic matter concentration of the samples and, through this, on the equilibrium between different Al fractions. To evaluate pH differences prior to analysis, pH values were also measured in the field and in the laboratory. DOC was also determined. Differences between fractionation in the field and fractionation in the laboratory: In this study, non-labile fractions of Al were compared instead of the labile fractions of Al (which can be removed from solution on passage through cation exchange column) that are believed to have the greatest toxic effect on organisms.

Abstract

Understanding sulfate transport and retention dynamics in forest soils is a prerequisite in predicting SO4 concentration in the soil solution and in lake and stream waters. In this study forest soil samples from the Grdsjn catchment, Sweden, were used to study SO4 transport in soil columns from the upper three soil horizons (E, Bs and BC).The columns were leached using a sequential leaching technique. The input solutions were CaSO4 equilibrated with forest floor material. Leaching behavior of SO4 and concentration in the effluent were measured from columns from individual horizons.SO4 was always retained in the Bs and BC horizons, while the pattern for the E horizon varied. Attempts were also made to model SO4 breakthrough results based on miscible displacement approaches and solute convection-dispersion equation (CDE) in porous media. Several retention mechanisms were incorporated into the CDE in order to account for possible reversible and irreversible SO4 reactions in individual soil layers.The model was not successful in describing the mobility of SO4 in the top (E) horizon. Moreover, a linear equilibrium approach was generally inadequate for describing sulfate mobility in the Bs and BC horizons whereas improved model descriptions were obtained when non-linear equilibrium and kinetic approaches were utilized.We conclude that sulfate retention during transport in this forest soil is most likely controlled by kinetic reactivity of SO4 by reversible and irreversible mechanisms.

Abstract

In the Total Organic Carbon (TOC) intercalibration sub-project a set of 10 synthetic and natural samples as well as non-labile reverse osmosis isolates were sent to 25 laboratories for the analysis of TOC and dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC).The outcome of the statistical treatment of the results from this intercalibration and the information regarding the participants instruments and standard operational procedures is that:Synthetic samples provide apparent better precision than natural samples. This fact, together with the good experience from the use of non-labile Reverse Osmosis (RO) and freeze dried isolates of dissolved organic carbon (DOM) in the intercalibration, lead us to recommend the use of RO isolates as material for the preparation of house standards and for determination of methods merits.The intra laboratory precision (relative standard deviation) varied from 5 to 16%.The fractionation of the DOC by 0.45um membrane filtering causes in some cases a contamination of carbon to the sample.A specific construction in a brand of the TOC analysers give poor results in samples with high TOC concentrations and that are of refractory material. The five selected sampling sites have proven, on the basis of their soil and water chemistry, to be well suited for studying the effect of climate and S-deposition on the characteristics of DOM. 163 water samples from two seasons (fall and spring) and 20 soil samples are collected and analysed.Most water samples are determined for all major charge contributing species, DOM fractions, and several other parameters. The DOM in the surface waters have been isolated both using reverse osmosis and hydrophobic resin (XAD8). The original surface water, reconstructed water by RO isolates as well as the XAD8 fractionated DOM have been characterized by a number of methods ranging from optical properties to pH and metal titration.The RO isolates have been provided to 14 scientific research groups in Europe and North America that are in the process of using their analytical technique to characterize the DOM.The soils have been determined for key explanatory variables as pH, cation exchange capacity and C/N ratio. The main findings from the characterisation of DOM is that:Generally the hydrophobic acid fraction (HPO-A) was the main DOM fractions in all water compartments and sites.Seasonal variation in the DOM fractionation is found to be greater than the variation between the sites and water compartments. The DOM fractionation is therefore not a fingerprint of the site.According to a batch titration experiment the aluminium complexing ability of the HPO-A and hydrophilics (HPI) DOM fractions (fractionated using only the XAD8 resin) was indistinguishable.The HPI fraction has generally a higher site density of weak acids (WA).The reverse osmosis (RO) isolates represent the total DOM in the original sample.NMR spectres of the RO isolates show that the main difference between the sites lie in the amounts of carbohydrates and aromatic compounds.The RO isolates produce reconstructed water with DOM that have similar optical properties.PCA analysis suggest that as the S-deposition is decreasing we should expect relatively more hydrophobic character of the DOM.The spring sample from Svartberget differs from the rest of the samples in that there was a small rainstorm causing a hydrologic episode during the sampling. This led to the lowest pH, highest TOC and organic charge (A-) among the surface water samples. In terms of DOM characteristics this temporal variation in flow regime led to the highest HPO-N DOM fractions, lowest intensity of the NMR spectre and low ash content and lower density of WA then expected. This expresses the importance of temporal variation during hydrologic episodes.

Abstract

The main tasks of the NOMiNiC project (Natural Organic Matter in the Nordic countries; see http://www.kjemi.uio.no/envir/nominic/) is to study the physiochemical characteristics of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and provide reverse osmosis (RO) spring and fall isolates of surface water natural organic matter (NOM) from 5 Nordic forested sites that differ mainly in atmospheric S-loading and climate. Hydrophobic and hydrophilic fractions are hypothesized to be more easily defined and have distinct different chemical characteristics than the total sample. A XAD-8 fractionation may then be used as a simple proxy for the physico-chemical properties of NOM. Both XAD-8 fractions and the total DOM sample have been base and metal titrated. Enhanced understanding of the significance of the numerous operationally defined parameters describing NOM will be achieved through a common multi-dimensional characterisation of the same set of isolates, that span a large spectre of the variation found in DOM. 7 institutes are already collaborating in characterizing the RO isolates using a large range of techniques and new participants are invited. In this presentation the 5 sampling sites are described and some results of the characterisation of the RO isolates are presented.

Abstract

Nitrogen is among the most important plant nutrients, and the effects on forest trees of changes in the concentrations and fluxes of both inorganic and organic nitrogen need to be known. In Norway, much of the nitrogen present in natural waters is organic (Mulder et al., 2000), therefore this fraction can not be neglected. Work using glycine has shown that forest plants can take up some forms of organic nitrogen directly, without preliminary mineralisation (Nsholm et al., 1998).Amino acids and amino sugars appear to be the most important organic sources of nitrogen for plants, including Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) (Johnsson et al., 1999). Organic nitrogen occurs in different forms. In soils, the most important are heterocyclic compounds and amino acids (35 % and 40 % respectively, Schulten and Schnitzer, 1998). In soil waters, amino sugars may also be important (Michalzik and Matzner, 1999).At present, organic nitrogen is normally determined as the difference between total nitrogen and the sum of nitrogen in nitrate and ammonium. This is not entirely satisfactory, as there will be a certain amount of uncertainty in each of the three determinations required. The total uncertainty involved in the determination of organic nitrogen may then be quite large compared to the actual concentration, especially when most nitrogen is present as inorganic nitrogen.A method for the direct determination of organic nitrogen is therefore desirable. Because organic nitrogen generally has a higher molecular weight than inorganic nitrogen, it might be possible to separate organic from inorganic nitrogen using size fractionation methods. In 1998, we worked on the setting up of methods for the determination of amino acids and amino sugars in soil waters, and on the direct determination of organic nitrogen using equilibrium dialysis.

Abstract

DOC concentrations in soil water in podzols decreased from median values of 37 and 39 mg/l in the F and H layers, respectively, to about 6 mg/l in the B horizon. The decrease was most pronounced in the mineral soil. An increase in concentrations was found in the surface soils in late summer and autumn, apparently due in large part to increased production, which took place in both the canopy and the forest floor, although evaporative concentration of soil water could also have been partially responsible. In the B horizon, increased concentrations of DOC could be observed in the autumn, although these increases were much lower than for the surface horizons. A correlation was found between the surface soil DOC concentrations and the mean surface soil temperature 1 to 2 months previously, which could be due to the buffering effect of sorption processes. However, the increase in the net amount leached could not be clearly attributed to increased temperature. In the autumn, concentrations did not decline immediately when temperature decreased, which may be due to leaching of previously adsorbed organic matter. During the autumn, concentrations of DOC in streams increased in periods of high discharge due to increased input of high-DOC surface soil water. At the same time, DOC concentrations in surface soil water largely decreased, presumably as DOC was washed out. An increase in DOC was not seen in periods of high discharge in the early spring. The highest concentrations of TOC (both with and without flux-weighting) at the weir were also found in the autumn). Correlation of TOC in streamwater with temperature was poor but, for the winter months, often significant. A positive correlation in the winter was probably associated with higher fluxes due to temperature-induced snowmelt. DON, which is the dominant form of dissolved nitrogen at all depths in the podzols at Birkenes, also decreased sharply in concentration in the mineral soil. However, there was an increase in the concentration of DON relative to DOC. The C/N ratio thus decreased downwards in the soil, indicating a possible preferential adsorption of N-poor DOC. Much of the DON in throughfall appeared to be of low molecular weight. This was not the case for DON in soil water.