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Stand species composition as a key factor determining the amount of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in forest soils
  • Stanisław Łyszczarz,
  • Jarosław Lasota,
  • Ewa Błońska
Stanisław Łyszczarz
Uniwersytet Rolniczy im Hugona Kollataja w Krakowie
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Jarosław Lasota
Uniwersytet Rolniczy im Hugona Kollataja w Krakowie
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Ewa Błońska
Uniwersytet Rolniczy im Hugona Kollataja w Krakowie
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Abstract

The aim of the study was to determine the effect of stand species composition on PAHs accumulation. The study covered the soils of the stands of the Rybnik Forest District, which are under the influence of one of the highest deposition of industrial emissions in Europe. Pine, pine-oak and oak stands growing in the same soil conditions were selected for the study. Samples for further analyses were collected from the organic horizon, from the humus mineral horizon and from the mineral horizon. Organic C content, N content, pH, alkaline cation content, as well as microbiological biomass of C, N, extracellular and intracellular enzyme activity were determined in the soil samples. PAH content was determined in the soil samples. Additionally, the soil organic matter fractions were determined: free light fraction (fLF), occluded light fraction (oLF) and mineral associated fraction (MAF). Pine stand soils were characterized by the highest average PAHs content. The oak stand soils were characterized by the lowest PAHs accumulation and high enzymatic activity. The study confirms the important role of the stand species composition in shaping the quality and quantity of SOM and soil acidification, which in turn is reflected in microbial activity and PAHs accumulation in forest soils. PAHs accumulation in forest soils is related to the fractional composition of SOM, which is the effect of the influence of species composition through the supplied aboveground and belowground biomass. A strong correlation between the PAH content and C content of the light soil fraction of OM was noted.