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Suz L.M.,Royal Botanic Gardens | Suz L.M.,Imperial College London | Barsoum N.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute | Benham S.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute | And 18 more authors.
Molecular Ecology

Ectomycorrhizal fungi are major ecological players in temperate forests, but they are rarely used in measures of forest condition because large-scale, high-resolution, standardized and replicated belowground data are scarce. We carried out an analysis of ectomycorrhizas at 22 intensively monitored long-term oak plots, across nine European countries, covering complex natural and anthropogenic environmental gradients. We found that at large scales, mycorrhizal richness and evenness declined with decreasing soil pH and root density, and with increasing atmospheric nitrogen deposition. Shifts in mycorrhizas with different functional traits were detected; mycorrhizas with structures specialized for long-distance transport related differently to most environmental variables than those without. The dominant oak-specialist Lactarius quietus, with limited soil exploration abilities, responds positively to increasing nitrogen inputs and decreasing pH. In contrast, Tricholoma, Cortinarius and Piloderma species, with medium-distance soil exploration abilities, show a consistently negative response. We also determined nitrogen critical loads for moderate (9.5-13.5 kg N/ha/year) and drastic (17 kg N/ha/year) changes in belowground mycorrhizal root communities in temperate oak forests. Overall, we generated the first baseline data for ectomycorrhizal fungi in the oak forests sampled, identified nitrogen pollution as one of their major drivers at large scales and revealed fungi that individually and/or in combination with others can be used as belowground indicators of environmental characteristics. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Wagner B.,Bayerisches Landesamt fur Umwelt | Walter T.,Landesamt fur Umwelt und Arbeitsschutz | Himmelsbach T.,Bundesanstalt fur Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe | Clos P.,Bundesanstalt fur Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe | And 12 more authors.

One of the main objectives of the EC water framework directive is to ensure good chemical status for all groundwater bodies. For this reason the geological surveys of Germany have produced a nationwide map of the background values of groundwater. Only naturally occurring inorganic parameters were taken into account, including the relevant major and trace elements. Based on the hydrogeological map of Germany at the scale of 1:200,000 (HÜK 200), and its delimited hydrogeological regions, a total of 186 hydrogeochemical units were defined and mapped geochemically. This involved collection of more than 52,000 groundwater samples in a database and allocation to their appropriate hydrogeochemical units. In order to separate anomalies within the data-sets from the underlying normal population, probability nets were used as a statistical tool. The procedure allowed to determine the normal populations of the investigated parameters within the hydrogeochemical units and to quantify them in the form of percentiles. The resulting hydrogeochemical background values are accessible through an internet web map service that includes an online map application. The main intention of this technical note is to inform the reader about the existing internet service, which necessitates some web-site content duplication. © 2011 Springer-Verlag. Source

Sanchez del Corral A.,University of Salamanca | Thum H.,Landesamt fur Umwelt und Arbeitsschutz
Quaternary International

Tchinguiz Tepe Hill is the southernmost outcrop, interrupted at the shores of the Amu Darya, of the Cenozoic sediments that form the Baysuntau-Kugitangtau alignment. The initiation points of the recent morphogenesis are the slopes and a pediment controlled structurally by the unequally weathered substrate. The hill is covered by sediments of varying thickness on the south side, which is exposed to dominant winds from the SE and was occupied by humans, at least during Kushan times (1st and 2nd centuries AD). Its form is derived from two systems of natural processes (slope and aeolian) and an anthropic one, which have operated under arid-to-semiarid conditions. These processes have mobilized sands from the weathered substrate and from the Afghan dunes, and pebbles and gravels from early Kushan-time constructions, such as the fortress of the Tchingiz Tepe Hill. Slope-wash processes have contributed materials, which have evolved as slope-aeolian sediment in the mantled pediment. Part of the aeolian sand has been re-exported, together with primary (autochthonous) sand outside the hill towards the north. Thus, in Tchinguiz Tepe the current morphogenesis has slowed down considerably and is currently in dynamic equilibrium, with a slow increase in sediments. The carbonate crusts, which are not very well developed, have formed a complex host sediment. Anthropic morphogenetic action has modified the natural shape of the hill from the earliest times of occupation to the present day, and has generated materials that are now incorporated in the slope wash and govern the current topography and the distribution of sediments from the wall of the fortress and other buildings. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. Source

Ameliorative liming procedures were executed in south-western and northern parts of the German federal state Saarland in the middle of the eighties and nineties. The decision for the resumption of the liming took place according to a set of opinions by experts backing the procedures generally. Soils in need of liming were estimated on the base of the provisional concept of the Saarland state forest (Saarforst 2005). Subsequently 160 monitoring plots were selected for sampling soils, leaves and needles. The soil assessment was based on the criteria for exchanger saturation established by Arbeitskreis Forstliche Standorts-kartierung (2003) and results of clay analysis. About 50% of the total forest area of the state were classified as in need for liming. From 2005 to 2009 11.381 hectare were limed in five procedures. The effectiveness of liming was executed four years after application using the same criteria. © DLV GmbH. Source

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