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TheScientificWorldJOURNAL
Volume 1, Pages 384-393
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/tsw.2001.451
Research Article

The Recovery of Damaged Pine Forests in an Area Formerly Polluted by Nitrogen

Lithuanian Forest Research Institute, Girionys, Lithuania

Academic Editor: Joe Wisniewski

Copyright © 2001 Kestutis Armolaitis and Vidas Stakenas.

Abstract

An area in Lithuania containing coniferous stands of Scots pine and Norway spruce that were dead or damaged due to nitrogen pollution by a nitrogen fertilizer plant (JV Achema) was found to have expanded between 1974 and 1989 to a distance of 20 to 25 km northeast of the plant in the direction of prevailing winds. Over the last 10 years, when nitrogen pollution by the plant had decreased, a clear process of recovery of the damaged ecosystems could be observed. The following features of this process as it occurred in damaged Scots pine stands are discussed: (1) refoliation (or decreased defoliation) of damaged trees, where a clear positive trend could be observed; (2) changes in the species composition and in the covering by ground vegetation, where small changes and indication of less-nitrophilous species coverage could be detected; and (3) chemical and acidity changes in Luvisols and Arenosols, where a significant decrease could be seen especially concerning nitrate concentrations.