In Austria the main pollutants affecting forests are ozone, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen, acid and sulphur inputs, as well as, on the local level, hydrogen fluoride, ammonia, heavy metals, and dust particles.
Status of air pollution
The results of interdisciplinary research activities, the bioindicator network, as well as expert activities by the Federal Research and Training Centre for Forest, Natural Hazards and Landscape (BFW) and the Federal Environment Agency, all conclude that air pollution poses a significant threat to forests.
Forests are considered an important sink for harmful substances, yet these forest-damaging substances are produced regularly by transport emissions, the combustion of domestic fuel, industrial emissions, and certain agricultural practices.
What can be done?
The existing laws concerning the control of air pollution levels need to be consistently implemented. The statutory protective provisions on forest-damaging air pollutants should be developed on the basis of scientific expert opinions.
Lexicon of forest-damaging air pollutants and climate change
The lexicon "Waldschädigende Luftverunreinigungen und Klimawandel" (in German with German-English/English/German index) by Stefan Smidt, Federal Office and Research Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape (BFW), is available online free of charge. It contains more than 3000 technical keywords with cross references.
In addition, English translations, tables and pictures can be found in the lexicon. All keywords can either be queried and printed directly or looked up using a list.
The lexicon comprises also:
- German / English (PDF): Glossary German - English
- Downloads (PDF): Austrian federal laws, air-quality criteria and many more
- Units (PDF): Many units of relevance to the subject
- Laws (PDF): Austrian federal laws of relevance to the protection of the flora against air pollution
- Expert literature (PDF): Compilation of the most important books on forest-damaging air pollutants.
- Full version of the lexicon (PDF): Full version of the text including keywords (registration required).
- Short version of the lexicon (PDF): BFW documentation “Wirkungen von Luftschadstoffen auf Pflanzen” with special consideration of forest trees (registration required).
- Slides (PDF): General information on air pollutants and their effects on plants, acid air pollutants and nitrogen compounds, ozone, and volatile organic compounds (registration required).
- Tables (PDF): Compilation of over 100 tables on global pollutant budgets (e.g. sulphur, carbon, nitrogen).
- Air pollution concentrations, air pollution thresholds, resistance series and data on forests with indication of the sources.
- Collection of links to lexicons and glossaries for similar subjects.
This electronic lexicon is frequently consulted, thereby making it prized at both the national and international levels and is frequently consulted.