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In recent years, there has been the phenomena of spruce dieback in Europe. Significant areas of spruce low mortality now cover both sides of the Polish southern border. We evaluated ecochemical parameters influencing the heavy dieback occurring in mature spruce stands in the Polish Carpathian Mountains. Dolomite, magnesite and serpentinite fertilizers were applied to experimental plots located in 100-year-old stands in the autumn of 2008. The experimental plots were located in the mid-elevational forest zone (900-950 m) on two nappes of the flysch Carpathians: Magura (Ujsoły Forest District) and Silesian (Wisła Forest District). The saturation of the studied soils demonstrates moderate resilience of soils in Wisła Forest District in relation to acid load and high flexibility of the Ujsoły soils. After application of the fertilizers, an increase of Mg, Ca and Mb was noted in the soil solution, determined in the overlaying highly acidic organic horizons through the ion-exchange buffering mechanism of highly protonated functional groups with high buffering capacity. Magnesium concentration increased following fertilization, presenting a potential improvement of forest growth capacity without the hazard of adverse side effects of liming. Aluminium stress in old spruce is unlikely, while trees in the control plots in Wisła Forest District may already be sensitive to aluminium stress. Serpentinite fertilization improved the supply of soils in magnesium without causing significant changes in the pH of the soil. Such changes in the pH were found in dolomite and magnesite fertilizer. © The Author(s) 2014.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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© 2014 The Authors



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