The effect of deforestation on spring water chemistry on Skrzyczne (Silesian Beskid Mountains, Poland)

https://doi.org/10.17221/77/2011-JFSCitation:Małek S., Krakowian K. (2012):   The effect of deforestation on spring water chemistry on Skrzyczne (Silesian Beskid Mountains, Poland). J. For. Sci., 58: 308-313.
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The Norway spruce dieback which occurred in the Western Carpathians is of interest to scientists in many fields. The goal of this research was to determine its effect on spring water chemistry. Due to environmental factors such as: high precipitation – up to 1,400 mm·year–1 while the average for Poland is 600 mm·year–1; kind of bedrock (the area is built of Godula Sandstone) which causes shallow water circulation so that springs are considered as shallow supplied, it was expected that the plant cover changes might affect spring water chemistry. Such observations were partially confirmed by Astel et al. (2008), when differences between types of forest stands were found. Those results showed that the presence of mixed stands caused an increase in pH values and an increase in calcium and magnesium concentrations compared to the spring waters of Norway spruce monocultures growing on the same geological bedrock. Currently another point of view was a possibility to analyse what was before and after deforestation.
The research was carried out in 2004 and 2009 in two catchments on Skrzyczne in the Silesian Beskid Mountains. The research did not show any statistically significant differences in water chemistry with one exception: pH in June 2009 was higher (average of 0.61) in springs without plant cover change than in the second group. This might be an effect of more water flowing through the more acid soil horizons with higher concentration of humic acids on the deforested area, where large amounts of organic matter were left. It is possible that changes will be observed in the years to come so that further monitoring should take place.  
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