Current issue: 54(2)
At immediate surroundings of a fiberglass plant in Central Sweden, vegetation shows toxicity symptoms. Soils and birch (Betula pendula Roth) leaves were sampled. The soil was analysed for water soluble and organic bound boron, carbon, nitrogen, and pH. Vegetation was analysed for total boron. Both fractions of boron in the soils increased towards the factory. Organic bound boron increased irregularly because of its strong correlation to carbon content which varied in the area. The C/N ratio increased nearer the industry due to the harmful effect of boron on the decomposition of organic matter. No relation between pH and the distance from the emission source was visible, but B/C ratio was found to increase with increasing pH of the soil. Boron levels in birch leaves were elevated very much close to the factory. The geographical distribution of high levels of boron in birch, corresponded well with high values in soils, and also with the main wind directions. The limit values for visible injury on birch were found to be around 5 ppm of water-soluble boron in soil and around 200 ppm in leaves.
Air pollution injury to vegetation often occurs near a fertilizer factory in Central Sweden. The causing incidence often occurs in the winter and the symptoms appear when metabolism starts in the spring. Deciduous and coniferous trees and bushes were injured in the spring of 1979. Samples of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) needles were analysed for sulphur, total fluorine and nitrogen content, some of them for nitrate and ammonium. All the compounds showed elevated levels, clearly connected with the degree of exposure of the sampling site. The levels were higher in the spring than later in the growing season, indicating involvement in metabolism or leaching. None of the compounds was significantly in excess, although, elevated to an extent to indicate the cause of injury. Most probably the nitrogen compounds were involved. The problems encountered in tracing the causing pollutant, when injury appeared long after the incidence, might be easier solved with regularly used technical monitoring and bioindicator technique.