Ozone and the Forests in Austria and Switzerland

  • R. Matyssek
  • W. M. Havranek
  • G. Wieser
  • J. L. Innes
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 127)


Following reports during the early 1980s in Germany about a spreading extensive dieback of forests (e.g., Prinz et al. 1982) occurring throughout central Europe, Waldsterben was believed to be a danger to the forests of Austria and Switzerland (see Schwarzenbach 1991; Amt der Tiroler Landesregierung 1985–1995). As this scenario did not materialize, the concept of “Neuartige Waldschäden” was introduced (FBW 1989), whereby forest status was classified by crown transparency (leaf loss) and foliage yellowing. From the outset, attention focused on ozone (03) as the causal agent rather than on acidic deposition (Arndt et al. 1982; Prinz 1984), especially because many soils in alpine regions possess a high buffering capacity (Bucher 1982). Moreover, high impacts of SO2 appeared to have been short-lived and were not sufficiently widespread to account for the supposed forest decline. It also appeared relevant to consider ozone as a constraint on forests in mountainous areas, since ozone increases in concentration with altitude, due to both anthropogenic activities and natural causes (Krupa and Manning 1988). In Austria, especially in Tyrol, the 03 hypothesis was supported by the crown transparency of trees, which increased in parallel with the 03 concentration from 1984 through 1987 (Amt der Tiroler Landesregierung 1985–1995: Fig. 4.1).


Picea Abies Carbon Allocation Forest Decline Larix Decidua Crown Condition 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Matyssek
  • W. M. Havranek
  • G. Wieser
  • J. L. Innes

There are no affiliations available

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