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Contents of nutrients and arsenic in litterfall and surface humus in mature nudal beech stands subjected to different emission-immission loads

Katarína Gašová
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Soil and Plant Ecology, Institute of Forest Ecology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Ľ. Štúra 2, 960 53 Zvolen, Slovak Republic
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Margita Kuklová
  • Department of Soil and Plant Ecology, Institute of Forest Ecology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Ľ. Štúra 2, 960 53 Zvolen, Slovak Republic
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ján Kukla
  • Department of Soil and Plant Ecology, Institute of Forest Ecology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Ľ. Štúra 2, 960 53 Zvolen, Slovak Republic
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-08-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/foecol-2017-0002


The aim of the paper was to compare the litterfall and surface humus (Oo) quality in nudal beech stands with different emission-immission load from the Al smelter Žiar nad Hronom. The study was carried out in the Kremnické vrchy Mts (control stand, 18 km from the emission source) and the Štiavnické vrchy Mts (stressed stand, 1.5 km from the emission source), both in Central Slovakia. The contents of arsenic and nutrients (Cat, Mgt, Kt, Nat), with exception of calcium in the beech litterfall from the stressed stand were markedly higher (by 4.3%, 23.9%, 2.1% and 87.9%, respectively) compared to the samples taken from the control plot. On the contrary, the surface humus samples (with the exception of Na in the necrotic Oon subhorizon) from control plot were richer in nutrients. However, significant differences (p < 0.01) between the plots were observed for Ca content in the litterfall as well as in the surface humus. The concentrations of As in Oo samples from the stressed stand mainly increased with the organic horizon depth (mg kg-1): necrotic Oon 1.10 < fermentation Oof 3.1 < humification Ooh 55.6. The results showed, that As amounts detected in subhorizon Ooh and in beech litterfall from the stressed stand were higher than the limit values, thus indicating that the environment of the Žiar territory is exposed to persistent negative impacts of industrial activities.

Keywords: arsenic; litterfall; mature beech forests; nutrients; surface humus


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About the article

Received: 2016-10-06

Accepted: 2016-11-04

Published Online: 2017-08-30

Published in Print: 2017-06-27

Citation Information: Folia Oecologica, Volume 44, Issue 1, Pages 11–19, ISSN (Online) 1338-7014, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/foecol-2017-0002.

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© 2017. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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