Monitoring of chlorine in the forest ecosystem

– its cycling and effects

Focusing on a new biogeochemical cycle: chlorine

The monitoring program started in cooperation of three research institutes: the Institute of Experimental Botany AS CR, v.v.i.; the Forestry and Game Management Research Institute, v.v.i.; and the Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute. The three partners have already participated programs and projects together (GACR grant projects, Garmisch Workshop) and published several papers on studies of chlorinated products (Literature). The project is funded mainly by EEA and Norway Grants and additionally by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic.

Project news

Final presentation of grant progress in Prague. The participants had the possibility to listen the prepared contributions of the three teams, and one contractor. After the reports, the participants discussed the results and outcomes of the research project. The possible effects of chlorine in the ecosystem was discussed also with contribution of anthropogenic chloride, the eventual adverse effect on drinking water quality and the drawbacks of AOX measurements.
Participants included the most members of the research teams, one contractor from the Institute of Microbiology AS CR and inquirers from the Road and Motorway Directorate, Czech National Institute of Public Health, T. G. Masaryk Water Research Institute, Povodí Labe, State Enterprise and from the Institute of Experimental Botany AS CR.

Presentation of results of the grant on the EMEC11 conforence in Slovenia. The 11th European Meeting on Environmental Chemistry was held in Portorož, 8-11. December 2010, with a wide forum for the exchange of ideas on recent advances in research and development in environmental chemistry and technology for people from industry, research and academia concurrently. The conference theme was Chemistry for the Environment, which gave emphasis to the fields of research on development and application of new materials and clean technologies, particularly where chemistry plays a significant part in current environmental issues.

Web page updated with the new publication, published in the international journal Plant, Soil & Environment which falls under the auspices of the Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

Web page updated with the Photo gallery of the fourth meeting, held in As, Norway, 14-18.6.2010 with a field trip to Nedstrand.

Web page updated with the Photo gallery of the second meeting, held in As, Norway, 7-10.6.2009 with a field trip to Birkenes, where water, soil and plant samples are collected for this program.

The fourth meeting, held in As, Norway, 14-18.6.2010.

The third meeting, held in Prague, 8-10.12.2009.

Web page updated with the Meeting Notes of the second meeting, held in As, Norway, 7-10.6.2009.

The second meeting, held in As, Norway, 7-10.6.2009.

Web page started

The first meeting, held in Prague, 10-12.3.2009.

Project overview

Chlorine – one of the most widespread elements on the Earth – is present in the environment as chloride ion or bound to organic substances. The main source of chloride ions is the oceans while organically bound chlorine (OCl) comes from various sources, including anthropogenic ones. Chlorinated organic compounds were long considered to be only industrial products; nevertheless, OCl occurs in natural ecosystems. It is important to understand both the inorganic and organic biogeochemical cycling of chlorine in order to understand processes in the forest ecosystem and dangers as a result of human activities, i.e. emission and deposition of anthropogenic chlorinated compounds as well as those from natural processes.
This scientific research project is proposed in the framework of priority area 'Environment protection', directed towards regional monitoring systems and the subsequent use of monitoring results, in connection with the International Cooperative Program on the Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests – ICP Forests - and to the recent results of research on the role of chlorine in the forest ecosystem. The project will use the existing network of 12 Level II intensive monitoring plots in the Czech Republic (see P5), which was started in 1994 for better understanding of causal relationships between forest condition and anthropogenic and natural stressors at both European and national level. Old and new soil and needle samples will be analyzed for chlorine compounds, in addition to other elements. One of the main goals will be data treatment and evaluation of obtained data from the perspective of chlorine in the forest ecosystem, followed by charting of the situation in the Czech Republic and the eventual impacts on the environment and human health.
The project will monitor relevant chlorine forms (chloride and OCl) in forest ecosystems in the Czech Republic (at present estimated there only exceptionally), and these data will then be compared with those obtained in Norway. In this way more systematic knowledge, missing up to now, will be obtained about chlorine cycling and its effects in the forest ecosystem.
Similar studies have already been carried out in Scandinavia (Sweden) especially, and also in other coastal countries. The project is required because of lack of data from the Czech Republic (and continental regions in general), for the possibility of comparison with the Norwegian situation (which has much higher deposition of chloride in the western coastal regions) and for meeting the financial demands of such a project.
The data obtained in the project (content of AOX/TOX, chloride, and chloroform in the investigated compartments) will provide a basic survey of the situation in the Czech Republic, which is likely to differ from that of the southern coast of Norway with its high deposition of sea salt. Using radioindicator methods and the isotope 36Cl we shall investigate chlorination processes directly in forest soils from monitored areas, including formation of their mostly ecotoxic products, among which chloroform and phytotoxic chloroacetic acids formed from humic substances are known. The data obtained will serve for state administration (e.g. chloroform concentration in ground water, chloride content in needles and soils in connection with road salting in winter). The Norwegian partner will use the data obtained for examination of chlorine influence on the decay of soil organic matter by adapting the model DyDOC (originally developed for investigation of formation, transport and retention of organic carbon in the forest soil), i.e. for investigation of the dynamics of OCl in the forest soil. For this purpose the ICP Forests Level II plot at Birkenes, situated near the southern Norwegian coast, and the Czech ICP Forests Level II plot at Zelivka will be used. Use of the model will contribute to finding of the laws of chlorine cycling. The obtained basic data will serve the scientific community in the form of scientific communications (articles). The time period for obtaining the data is presumed to be 24 months.

Monitoring of chlorine in the forest ecosystem – its cycling and effects

Utility Link | Utility Link | Utility Link
Norwegian Financial Mechanism | Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic
Overview | Detailed Scientific Program | Aims | Results | Used Methods | Monitored Plots
Institute of Experimental Botany | Forestry and Game Management Research Institute | Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute
Country Info | EEA Grants | Focal Point CR | Academy of Sciences CR | Libraries | Materials & Methods | Previous Works
Time Plan | Notes from Meetings | Collected Data | Supporting Data | Articles | Articles to be Written
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