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Michopoulos P.,Forest Research Institute of Athens
Journal of Forest Science | Year: 2013

The foliar nutrient status was examined in a degraded Greek fir (Abies cephalonica Loud.) forest in Mount Parnitha near Athens, Greece. The examination lied in comparing the foliar concentrations of Ca, Mg, K, N, P, Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu with the critical values referring to conifers and the elemental percentages with regard to N of the forest with the corresponding percentages of a healthy Bulgarian fir (Abies borisii regis) stand, the closest relative of the Greek fir. It was found that the needles of the Greek fir had significantly lower concentrations from the N and P critical values. Significant differences were found for the Ca/N, Mg/N, P/N, Fe/N and Mn/N percentages. Significant correlations for the Greek fir were found between needle weight and foliar N as well as between needle weight and the percentages Ca/N and Fe/N. It is highly probable that N and P in the Greek fir are in short supply.

Michopoulos P.,Forest Research Institute of Athens | Cresser M.S.,University of York | Economou A.,Forest Research Institute of Athens | Baloutsos G.,Forest Research Institute of Athens | And 3 more authors.
Fresenius Environmental Bulletin | Year: 2013

Measurements of chemical parameters of soil samples collected in 2005, in an experimental mountainous beech plot, showed that the soil was acidified with regard to soil samples collected in 1995 despite the rising pH values in bulk deposition during the last 10 years. Specifically, values of pH and base saturation in the new samples were significantly lower than the corresponding values in the old samples for the OH horizon soils, and the first 20 cm of mineral soil. Also, in the new samples, concentrations of exchangeable aluminum were significantly higher than those in the old samples. The reasons for acidification can be attributed either to the low amounts of base cations in total deposition, and/or to the reduction of amounts of base cations in litterfall during recent years.

The intensively monitored plots in Europe have offered a lot of information with regard to the dynamics of forest ecosystems. A large stock of data is already available as an input to ecological models. The carbon sequestration challenge is a little different from others. It requires long-term studies and additional information from what already exists. So far, apart from the determination of organic C in soils, research in the intensively monitored plots has mainly focused on above ground processes, i.e., crown assessment, phenology, deposition, litterfall, tree growth, and foliar chemistry. All these parameters are valuable and will continue to be so. However, according to the latest literature reviews on the subject, the key to understanding the reaction of trees to climate change lies in the dynamics of belowground processes. Information is needed on nitrogen mineralization rates, soil respiration rates and labile carbon forms in soils. If we take into account that countries pay for their carbon emissions and are paid for carbon sequestration, a research like this can be worth doing. Most importantly, the ecological models can be enriched and therefore be more precise in predicting tree response to climate change. © iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry.

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