5. The chemical composition of pine and spruce needles, a comparison of results from 2001 and 1997

In 2001, needle and foliage samples were collected from148 second-level permanent observation plots to determine the chemical composition and compare the results with the data obtained in 1997 [19]. The analysis of chemical composition in the foliage of oak and beech was presented in the report for 2001 [20]. This chapter focuses only on the chemistry of pine and spruce needles.

Plate 8. A Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) current year twig - photo by Jerzy Wawrzoniak

The chemical composition of pine needles was determined on 100 second-level POPs located across the country. The greatest number of POPs was located in the Ma這polska (24) and Wielkopolska-Pomerania (22) natural-forest regions, and the smallest number of POPs with pine stands was located in the Carpathian natural-forest region (5). The smaller number of plots represented spruce stands. Only 22 second-level POPs were located in the spruce stands. The majority of these stands occur in the Carpathian (10) and the smallest number in the Baltic, Mazury-Podlasie and Silesian natural-forest regions with 2 plots in each region.

There were significant differences in element concentration found between the current and the previous year pine needles. Higher concentrations of N, P, K and Mg were recorded in the current year needles, while of Ca in the previous year needles - see Tab. 4. The concentrations of Mn, Fe and Al were higher in the previous year needles. Among the microelements analysed in pine needles, only the concentration of Cu were scientifically higher in the current year needles. No significant differences in concentrations of sulphur (S) and other monitored microelements (Cd, Pb, Zn and B) were found between the current year and previous year pine needles - see Tab. 5.

Table 4. Mean concentrations of macroelements [g*kg-1] in current and previous year pine and spruce needles from the different region of Poland, 2001 data

The analysis of differences in concentrations of microelements in the current year needles of pine between natural-forest regions pointed to significantly higher concentrations of N and Ca in the Silesian than in the Mazury-Podlasie and Mazowsze-Podlasie natural-forest regions. The concentration of potassium (K) in pine needles was significantly higher in the Silesian than in Mazury-Podlasie, Wielkopolska-Pomerania, Mazowsze-Podlasie and Ma這polska natural-forest regions. The concentration of phosphorus (P) in the needles of pine from the Silesian natural-forest region was found to be higher than that in pine needles from the Wielkopolska-Pomerania natural-forest region. The concentrations of sulphur (S) in pine needles differed only between the Silesian and Mazury-Podlasie natural-forest regions with higher values in the Silesian natural-forest region. There were no significant differences in the concentration of magnesium (Mg) found between the regions - Tab. 4.

The concentrations of microelements in the current year pine needles significantly differed between the regions of southern Poland and central and northern Poland.

Plate 9. A Norway spruce (Picea excelsa Link.) twig - photo by Jerzy Wawrzoniak

The concentration of manganese (Mn) in the Ma這polska natural-forest region was significantly lower than in the Mazowsze-Podlasie natural-forest region. The Ma這polska natural-forest region also revealed higher concentrations of iron (Fe) when compared to other natural-forest regions: Baltic and Wielkopolska-Pomerania, as well as cadmium (Cd) when compared to the Baltic and Mazury-Podlasie natural-forest regions. The concentration of zinc (Zn) was also higher in the Ma這polska natural-forest region than in the Mazury-Podlasie, Wielkopolska-Pomerania and Mazowsze-Podlasie natural-forest regions. Significant differences in concentrations of aluminium (Al), iron (Fe) and cadmium (Cd) in the current year pine needles were noted between the Silesian natural-forest region where these values were higher and the Baltic natural-forest region. Besides, the concentration of boron (B) in the Silesian natural-forest region was higher than in the Mazury-Podlasie and the Carpathian natural-forest regions, as well as the concentration of cadmium (Cd) in the Silesian natural-forest region was higher than in the Mazury-Podlasie natural-forest region. The concentration of aluminium (Al) was significantly higher in the Silesian and the Mazowsze-Podlasie natural-forest regions when compared to the Baltic natural-forest region. No significant differences were found in the concentrations of lead (Pb) and copper (Cu) in the current year pine needles among the natural-forest regions.

Table 5. Mean concentrations of microelements [mg*kg-1] in current and previous year pine and spruce needles from the different region of Poland, 2001 data

The concentrations of macro- and microelements in the previous year pine needles showed similar tendency - see Tab. 4, 5. Significant differences were most frequently noted between the southern and northern natural-forest regions. Pine needles from the Silesian natural-forest region were characterised by significantly higher concentrations of nitrogen (N) and calcium (Ca) when compared to those from the Mazury-Podlasie and Mazowsze-Podlasie natural-forest regions. Significantly lower values for nitrogen (N) in the previous year pine needles were reported from the Ma這polska and Carpathian natural-forest regions than from the Silesian natural-forest region. The concentration of potassium (K) in the Silesian natural-forest region exceeded that found in pine needles from the Baltic, Mazury-Podlasie and Wielkopolska-Pomerania, Mazowsze-Podlasie and Ma這polska natural-forest regions. Differences in the concentration of sulphur (S) between the Silesian and Ma這polska natural-forest regions and the Mazury-Podlasie natural-forest region were found significant. The concentration of phosphorus (P) in the Silesian natural-forest region was higher than in the Baltic and Wielkopolska-Pomerania natural-forest regions and higher in the Ma這polska than in the Wielkopolska-Pomerania natural-forest region. The concentration of magnesium (Mg) in the previous year pine needles did not show differences between regions.

Analyses of the chemical composition of the current year spruce needles showed markedly higher concentrations of all macroelements with the exception of calcium (Ca) - see Tab. 4. The concentration of Ca in the current year needles was significantly higher than in the previous year needles of spruce. There were no significant differences found in the level of sulphur (S). Among the microelements, concentrations of aluminium (Al) and iron (Fe) showed significantly higher values in the previous year needles than in the current year needles. The opposite pattern was found in the case of zinc (Zn) concentration. The level of concentrations of other elements did no show significant differences between the current year and the current year spruce needles - Tab.5.

Plate 10. ICP-OES simultaneous spectrometer with radial and axial plasma viewing - photo by J霩ef W鎩cik

The comparison of chemical composition in spruce needles was made only between the north and the south of Poland which was due to a scarce number of POPs with spruce stands and because the distribution of spruce stands is limited mainly to the northern and southern belt of the country. The differences in concentrations of microelements in the current year spruce needles between north and south of Poland were found insignificant. Among analysed microelements only the elevated concentration of copper (Cu) was significant. More significant were the differences in concentrations of microelements in the previous year spruce needles. Spruce needles from the north had markedly higher concentration of calcium (Ca) while those from the south - of potassium (K). Among analysed microelements spruce needles from the north of Poland, the concentration of copper (Cu) was significantly higher.

On the basis of chemical analyses a comparison was made between concentrations of the analysed macro- and microelements in pine and spruce needle samples collected in 1997 and 2001 - see Tab. 6.

The current year pine needles collected in 2001 had higher concentrations of N, P and Mg and lower concentrations of K when compared to 1997. The differenced in the level of S and Ca concentrations were not significant. Among the analysed microelements, the concentrations of Mn, B and Zn showed higher values in 2001 than in 1997. There were no such differences in the concentrations of Al and Fe. Similar relations in element concentrations were noted between 1997 and 2001 in the previous year pine needles.

Table 6. Percentage of changes of elements concentration in pine and spruce needles in 2001 compared to 1997 (current and previous year needles)

The analysis of the current year spruce needles revealed a marked increase in concentrations of N and P and a decrease in concentration of S in 2001 when compared to 1997. However, no significant differences were found in element concentrations between the two years. A significant increase in concentrations of N, Mg and P and a decrease in concentration of K were noted in previous year needles in 2001 when compared to 1997. Changes in the levels of S and Ca concentrations were not significant. The 2001 saw a significant increase in concentrations of Zn, Mn and B.

The comparison of mean concentrations of selected macro- and microelements in the current year pine and spruce needles in Poland to three ranges for elements concentration (low, medium and high) in European countries [3] revealed that the concentrations of all analysed elements except sulphur in spruce needles were within the medium range. Only the concentration of sulphur in spruce needles was found to be within the range of low values.

The mean concentrations of elements in pine needles from Poland were compared with the data from the neighbouring countries: Germany, the Czech Republic and Lithuania. Pine needles from Germany were characterised with a higher level of N concentration than those from Poland. The mean concentration of N in pine needles from Germany corresponded to the FFCC upper class (class 3). A similar difference was found in the concentration of Mn in pine needles from the Czech Republic and Poland. The Mn levels in pine needles from the Czech Republic were clearly higher and were within the class 3. Pine needles from Lithuania showed a markedly higher concentration of Ca and were in the class 3. The concentration of S in pine needles from Lithuania and the Czech Republic was lower than the data obtained for Poland and corresponded to the class 1.

Notable differences in concentration of elements were found in spruce needles from Lithuania where the concentration of N was clearly lower and corresponded to the FFCC class 1 while the concentration of Mg was higher than in Poland and corresponded to the FFCC class 3.

Higher concentrations of N, P, K, Mg and Cu were recorded in the current year needles of pine, while of Ca, Mn, Fe, Al in the previous year needles.

Analyses of the chemical composition of the current year spruce needles showed markedly higher concentrations of Zn and all macroelements with the exception of calcium (Ca) and sulphur (S). Concentrations of calcium (Ca), aluminium (Al) and iron (Fe) showed significantly higher values in the previous year needles.

The current year pine needles collected in 2001 had higher concentrations of macroelements: N, P, Mg and microelements: Mn, B, Zn and lower concentrations of K when compared to 1997. Similar relations in element concentrations were noted between 1997 and 2001 in the previous year pine needles.

The analysis of the current year spruce needles revealed a marked increase in concentrations of N and P and a decrease in concentration of S in 2001 when compared to 1997. A significant increase in concentrations of macroelements: N, Mg, P, microelements: Zn, Mn, B and a decrease in concentration of K were noted in previous year needles in 2001 when compared to 1997.


  Raport 2002