Influence of road salting on the adjacent Norway spruce (Picea abies) forest

Forczek S.T., Benada O., Kofroňová O., Sigler K.

Keywords: deicing, radiotracer methods, salinity, plant damage, chlorine cycle
Abstract: Winter deicing and traffic spreads salt to road-adjacent Norway spruce trees in the form of spraying and salt slops. Our use of Na36Cl revealed roots as the main pathway of salt uptake. One-shot application of a concentrated Na36Cl solution to spruce saplings by both irrigation and spraying causes macroscopic damage to the needles and affects the needle phyllosphere. Irrigation affects the trees more than spraying because Cl– uptake through roots is faster and eventually leads to higher chloride content in the plant. Along with the root-needle route, spray-deposited chloride from the needles is re-transported back into the soil and again taken up by roots to needles.
DOI: IEB authors: Sándor Tamás Forczek