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Photosynthetic performance and nutrient status of Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] at forest sites in the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge)

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Photosynthetic performance of several needle age classes of Norway spruce trees [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] in highly SO2-polluted and heavily damaged forest sites was measured at two different locations in the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge, Krusne Hory) during early summer. The carboxylation efficiency showed a dramatic drop from current-year's needles to 1-year-old needles with only a slight further decrease with increased needle age. The light use efficiency also revealed these characteristics. For both parameters, no linear decrease with needle age could be found. In contrast, the maximum photosynthetic capacity (A2500) decreased linearly with time and revealed a good correlation with the total sulfur content of the needles. Absolute values measured for A2500 were approximately 50% lower than those of comparable trees in the nearby Fichtelgebirge. Mineral deficiencies or acute nutrient imbalances of the needles were not detected. In contrast to the situation in the forests of the Fichtelgebirge, a direct effect of gaseous SO2 on the trees in the Ore Mountains seems plausible.

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This paper is dedicated to our teacher Professor Otto Ludwig Lange on the occasion of his 65th birthday

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Pfanz, H., Beyschlag, W. Photosynthetic performance and nutrient status of Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] at forest sites in the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge). Trees 7, 115–122 (1993).

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Key words

  • Air pollution
  • Forest decline
  • Photosynthesis
  • Picea abies
  • Sulfur dioxide