Hyperspectral data for assessment of temporal changes in Norway spruce forest conditions in the mountainous region of the Czech Republic affected by long-term acidic deposition

Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Jana Albrechtova1, Zuzana Lhotakova2, Jan Misurec3, Veronika Kopackova3, Petya K. E. Campbell4, Magda Edwards-Jonasova5, Lucie Kupkova6, Lucie Cervena6, Marketa Potuckova6 and Pavel Cudlin5, (1)Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, (2)Charles University in Prague, Department of Experimental Plant Biology, Prague, Czech Republic, (3)Czech Geological Survey, Prague, Czech Republic, (4)University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD, United States, (5)CzechGlobe, Czech Academy of Sciences, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, (6)Charles University in Prague, Department of Applied Geoinformatics and Cartography, Prague, Czech Republic
The Ore Mts. located in the western part of the Czech Republic suffered during 1950’s-1990´s heavy atmospheric pollution due to the mining activities and brown coal combustion. Acidic deposition in combination with harsh climatic conditions led there to large-scale forest decline. Although the load of SO2 has significantly decreased since 1991, tree damage was still visible in 1998 in terms of high defoliation or dead trees. Nowadays Norway spruce trees do not exhibit visible symptoms of damage but the full recovery of Norway spruce forests is not complete yet due to persisting adverse soil conditions.

The temporal changes in the physiological status of Norway spruce forests in the Krušné Hory Mts. were evaluated using two sets of spectral images acquired in 1998 (ASAS) and in 2013 (APEX) and ground truth data (LAI, tree crown status, photosynthetic pigment contents, leaf spectral properties measured by spectroradiometer, soil properties – pH, contents of basic cations, heavy metals, etc.). Ground truth data were evaluated by unconstrained and constrained multivariate analyses using Canoco 5. The high resolution spectral images (ASAS and APEX) enabled the identification of a gradient of forest conditions and their comparison.

In 1998 the stands exhibited different physiological status corresponding to the pollution gradient with healthier trees at the western part of the mountains. Analysis of the foliar chemistry in 2013 show a slight improvement of the Norway spruce physiological status in the eastern part of the mountains while the status of the western-located stands slightly worsened. In 2013 we also studied the differences in soil geochemical conditions, which appeared to be less favorable in the western part of the mountains characterized by a low base cation contents in the top organic horizon and a very low pH (pH<3).