Air pollution control in Austrian forests

Measurements of atmospheric pollutants show that, in spite of reduced emissions, forests are still affected by air Pollution.

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.

published at 03.07.2018, Kommunikation und Service (Abteilung Präs. 5)