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Open AccessArticle

Assessment of Atmospheric Deposition and Vitality Indicators in Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems

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Croatian Forest Research Institute, Cvjetno naselje 41, 10450 Jastrebarsko, Croatia
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Water Research Institute, National Research Council (CNR-IRSA), Viale Tonolli 50, 28922 Verbania, Italy
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Institute for Adriatic Crops and Karst Reclamation, Put Duilova 11, 21000 Split, Croatia
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Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), CR Casaccia, Viale Anguillarese 301, 00123 Roma, Italy
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INRA, Ecology of Mediterranean Forests Unit (URFM) Domaine Saint Paul, Site Agroparc, 84914 Avignon CEDEX 9, France
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Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, Pierottijeva 6, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6805; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236805
Received: 2 November 2019 / Revised: 27 November 2019 / Accepted: 28 November 2019 / Published: 30 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Sustainability and Applications)
Considering the fragility of the Mediterranean environment, there is an increasing need to improve the knowledge of this forest environment. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of air pollution on the forest ecosystem’s condition by analyzing tree vitality. The study area was chosen to represent the most important and the most common species in Mediterranean forest ecosystems of the Eastern Adriatic coast. Quercus pubescens, Quercus ilex, Pinus halepensis, and Pinus nigra plots were equipped with rain collectors and dendrometer bands. Sampling, measurements, and analyses of atmospheric deposition, foliar nutrient, defoliation, and growth were all carried out. Results showed that actual N deposition loads were the lowest in Aleppo pine forest and the highest in holm oak forests. This, however, did not have an effect on the concentrations of N in foliage. Most elements’ concentrations were in the plausible range. No relevant differences in mean defoliation between the plots were observed. The plots with a lower percentage of basal area increment (BAI%) were found to have lower defoliation. The research was conducted to bridge the gap in the knowledge of air pollutants and vitality indicators in different forest types. These findings are a valuable contribution to the sustainable forest management of Mediterranean forest. View Full-Text
Keywords: atmospheric inputs; crown; defoliation; foliage; growth; Mediterranean forest types atmospheric inputs; crown; defoliation; foliage; growth; Mediterranean forest types
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Jakovljević, T.; Marchetto, A.; Lovreškov, L.; Potočić, N.; Seletković, I.; Indir, K.; Jelić, G.; Butorac, L.; Zgrablić, Ž.; De Marco, A.; Simioni, G.; Ognjenović, M.; Jurinjak Tušek, A. Assessment of Atmospheric Deposition and Vitality Indicators in Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6805.

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