School of Physical and Chemical Sciences Te Kura Matū Seminar Series

Forest soil recovery from Acid Rain in beech stands of the Vienna Woods


Torsten W. Berger, Erskine Visitor with the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences (Host: Brett Robinson)


Department of Forest- and Soil Sciences, Institute of Forest Ecology, BOKU-University, Vienna, Austria,

Time & Place

Fri, 28 Feb 2020 11:00:26 NZDT in Beatrice Tinsley 112

All are welcome


From the beginning of the twentieth century, sulfur (S) emissions increased steadily in Europe and North America and S deposition in forest ecosystems of Europe peaked in the early 1980s. As a transboundary pollution issue, legislation to reduce acidifying emissions has taken place at an international level. Billions have been invested in cleaning up the emissions that cause Acid Rain and associated heavy metal deposition. Hence, it is worthwhile to know how much improvement has been achieved. Acidification research has moved down the agenda, however, the topic is also scientifically important, since in many regions mass balance estimates of S are negative due to a release of previously stored S, delaying the recovery of pH of soils and surface waters. Rigorous studies of recovery from soil acidification are rare. That is why, we resampled 97 old-growth beech stands in the Vienna Woods. This study exploits an extensive data set of soil (infiltration zone of stemflow and between trees area), foliar and wood chemistry from three decades ago.

All Welcome


Torsten W. Berger is a professor at the Institute of Forest Ecology (BOKU-University). He studied at BOKU “Forestry”, earned his PhD from BOKU in 1991, spent 2 years as a postdoctoral associate at the Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, New York, USA (Prof. Dr. Gene E. Likens), and got his habilitation (docent) in the field “Biogeochemistry and Forest Nutrition” at BOKU in 2000. His research interests and activities are: deposition of atmospheric constituents and its impact on nutrient budgets of forest ecosystems, biogeochemistry, forest nutrition, chemical manipulations of forest ecosystems for evaluating human environmental impacts (e.g., calcium, nitrogen, acids, TFA), plant-soil feedback, forest disturbances, dendrochemistry.