WIT Press

Forest Ecosystem Development After Heavy Deposition Loads – Case Study Dübener Heide


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Page Range

571 - 583




767 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


C. Fürst, M. Abiy & F. Makeschin


Forest ecosystems in the New Lander (Germany) were impacted for more than one century by industrial emissions. The deposition amount has decreased since the middle of the 1980s due to technological progress and closing of main emitters. In the research project ENFORCHANGE (www.enforchange.de), the impact of past industrial depositions on forest ecosystems is assessed in two model regions, and approaches how to integrate deposition residuals into forest management are developed. The here presented model region Dübener Heide is a ca. 300 km² large forest area in the industrial triangle Leipzig-Halle-Bitterfeld, which is one of the most polluted regions in the New Lander. A total deposition amount of 18 Mio t fly ash and of 12 Mio t SO2 led to considerable changes of site properties, forest growth and health. The actual investigations in Dübener Heide revealed that the historical deposition impact still results in a spatial differentiation of forest growth conditions: nowadays, Dübener Heide can be divided into two parts with different impact level and intensity. Verifiable fly ash influence with high pH values and nutrient potential is limited to a zone of maximally 8–15 km distance to the former emitters, whereas SO2 impacted the total 300 km² area, but its effects are no longer detectable. This spatial differentiation is relevant for tree species choice in the future: the heavily fly ash impacted sites are characterized by ample regeneration and growth of noble hardwood species and European beech, whereas the not measurably fly ash influenced sites are more or less suitable for Scots Pine and Oak. The prediction of the long-term development of the site potential and tree species suitability on heavily fly ash affected sites under different climate change scenarios are part of ongoing studies. Keywords: forest ecosystem development, fly ash deposition, SO2 deposition, forest growth and health, site potential, forest management planning.


forest ecosystem development, fly ash deposition, SO2 deposition,forest growth and health, site potential, forest management planning.