Influence of heavy metals and acid rain on enzymatic activities in the mycorrhizosphere of model forest ecosystems

Karin Pritsch, Madeleine S. Günthardt-Goerg, Jean Charles Munch, Michael Schloter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The influence of a moderate contamination with heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb /640, 3000, 10, 90 mg kg-1 of HNO3-extractable metals), acid rain (pH3.5), and the combined treatment was studied in model forest ecosystems. Extracellular enzymatic activities were measured in soil samples and on absorbing fine roots of seven different tree species (Betula pendula, Fagus sylvatica, Populus tremula, Picea abies, Salix viminalis, Alnus incana, Acer pseudoplatanus). The five studied enzymes represent the carbon, phosphorus and nitrogen cycle, and include phosphatase, β-glucosidase, cellobiohydrolase, chitinase, and xylosidase. Acid rain alone had no effect on soil enzyme activities, while heavy metals strongly reduced activities of all enzymes. Surprisingly, this reduction was less pronounced in the combined treatments with HM and acid rain. The absorbing fine roots of the seven different tree species exhibited a broad range of reactions to both stressors. Overall, the results suggest that studies on heavy metal reactions in woody plants should consider species effects as well as other environmental factors such as acid rain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-304
Number of pages16
JournalForest Snow and Landscape Research
Volume80
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Extracellular enzymes
  • Forest trees
  • Mycorrhiza
  • Stress response

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of heavy metals and acid rain on enzymatic activities in the mycorrhizosphere of model forest ecosystems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this