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In Austria, chemical plant analyses to determine the air pollution impact was first used around the turn of the century. From 1955 to 1980 some 7 % of the forested areas in the neighborhood of industrial facilities were analyzed. In 1975 chemical plant analysis was laid down in the Forest Act as a tool to determine air pollution impact. The Second Ordinance against Forest-Damaging Air Pollutants (1984) stipulates air quality limit values.
By regulating plant analyses by law, which is unparalleled in Europe, it was possible to actually enforce plant analysis.
Today, plant analyses provide basic information for forest-related expert opinions to support Provincial Forest Authorities in the course of legal actions in accordance with the Mining Act, the Waste Management Act and the Industrial Law including Environmental Impact Assessment.

Austria participates in the pan-European Forest condition monitoring program ICP-FORESTS. On the intensive monitoring plots deposition of air pollutants, element fluxes and nutrient cycling is monitored. For these purpose chemical analyses of deposition (rain, snow), litterfall, ground vegetation, needles and leaves and passive samplers (ozone) are performed.

Priority Areas of Work

  • Austria-wide monitoring programme (Austrian Bio-indicator Grid) for the assessment of the spatial and temporal variation of air pollution impacts and nutrient supply
  • Processing of data for BIN-online (the Bio-indicator Grid internet database) Expert opinion to support Provincial Forest Authorities during legal actions in accordance with the Mining Act, the Waste Management Act and the Industrial Law including Environmental Impact Assessment.
  • Europe-wide Forest Foliar Coordinating Centre (FFCC) under the UN/ECE ICP-FORESTS Project (Forest Foliar Coordinating Centre - FFCC)
  • Chemical analyses of needle and leaf samples to determine nutrient status and element contents
  • Advisory services in the field of biomonitoring and plant analysis (provincial authorities, industrial facilities, forest owners, civil engineers, Christmas tree breeders and individuals)
  • Identification of heavily loaded areas by means of biomonitoring
  • Management of a Web-driven database
  • Measures to improve the quality of plant analyses at the European level (ring tests, support to participating laboratories, presentations)

Research

Austrian Bio-Indicator Grid (www.bioindikatornetz.at)

The aim of the Austrian Bio-Indicator Grid is to identify air pollutants and nutrient imbalances through foliage analysis and to show their temporal and spatial variation in Austria. >>>
Flash animation of the positive trend in the sulphur content in the Austrian Bio-Indicator Grid from 1983 to 2006

To gain a nationwide overview of the sulphur content in the Austrian Bio-Indicator Grid, the results of the investigations from 1983 to 2006 were arranged in a Flash animation.

Assessment of Mercury in Needles of Forest Trees

In the Austrian forest law “Zweite Verordnung gegen Forstschädliche Luftverunreinigungen, BGBl. Nr. 199/1984”, there are threshold values specified for the concentrations of several pollutants in  >>>
Impact of Environmental Change on the Radioecology of Spruce Trees in Upper Austria

In a two years project spruce needle samples of the Austrian Bioindicator Grid were analysed by gamma spectrometry to detect the geographical and temporal distribution of radionuclides with the main

Advisory Services and other Services

Forest Foliar Coordinating Centre - FFCC (www.ffcc.at)

In order to support the European Commission and the ICP-Forest in the coordination of this Pan-European survey the Forest Foliar Coordinating Centre (FFCC) was set up at the Austrian Federal Office  >>>
European Interlaboratory Test Programme (LIFE+/FutMon, ICP-Forests)

The inter-laboratory comparisons conducted within the Europaean framework of the ICP Forests programme are aimed at testing the proficiency of the laboratories, i.e. evaluating the comparability of  >>>
Threshold values for different tree species in Austria

For spruce and beech there are threshold values specified in the Austrian forest law “Zweite Verordnung gegen Forstschädliche Luftverunreinigungen, BGBl. Nr. 199/1984”, facilitating an assessment of  >>>

Team

Alfred
Fürst
Head of Unit,
Tree nutrition,
Bioindication of Air Pollution,
Chem. Plant Analysis
+43-1-87838-1114 Schönbrunn, Room 51

Ramona
Wögerer
Sample Receipt, Chlorine, Fluorine,
Heavy Metal Analyses,
Quality Assurance
+43-1-87838-1263 Schönbrunn, Room 310

Ingrid
Celik
Sample Preparation and
Nitrogen and Mercury Analyses
+43-1-87838-1107 Schönbrunn, Room 4

Teresa
Schöll
Sulfur, Chlorine and
Nutrient Analyses
+43-1-87838-1411
Schönbrunn, Room 317

Martha Smolka Marta
Smolka
Sample Preparation and
Nutrient Analyses
+43-1-87838-1410 Schönbrunn, Room 315

Platzhalter für das Passbild Rosa
Thanheuser
Sample Preparation +43-1-87838-1410 Schönbrunn, Room 315

Romana
Wolfsberger
Sulphur Analyses
+43-1-87838-1410 Schönbrunn, Room 305

Christa
Abo El Schabaik
Analyses of Deposition Samples, Mercury Analyses +43-1-87838-1118 Schönbrunn
Room 14

Contact

Unit of Air Pollution and Plant Analysis
Seckendorff-Gudent-Weg 8, 1131 Vienna
Head of Unit Ing. Alfred Fürst

Tel. +43-1-87838-1114, Fax: +43-1-87838-1250
email: alfred.fuerst@bfw.gv.at
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