metale ciężkie; tlenki siarki; ekosystem; zanieczyszczenie środowiska
Katowice: Uniwersytet Śląski
The influence of pollution such as sulphur dioxides and heavy metals on forest ecosystems is
commonly known and widely described in literature. However, there is not enough information about the
long term influence of pollution on undergrowth which increases the natural resistance of forest
ecosystems and protects forest soil against the destructive pollution. Vaccinium myrtillus L. and
Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. examinations are the basis for the full understanding of long term effects of
pollution on the whole forest ecosystem (they constitute supplementation of knowledge about the
reactions of forest ecosystems to air and soil pollution). They will allow to determine the reasons of
taking some remedial actions in case of highly polluted environment and they are the basis of the
integrated environmental protection systems.
Seven sites located on former coniferous forest have been included in the research. Three of them
are in the area o f industrial influence of Katowice Steelworks in Dąbrowa Górnicza and three consecutive
are located within the area Miasteczko Śląskie Zinc Smelter. Kokotek was the reference site located
within Lubliniec forestry. The purpose of the paper was to prove the thesis that phenotype diversification
at Vaccinium myrtillus L. and Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. population exposed at industrial pollution takes
place. The following have been included in the detailed purposes:
• comparison of the degree of load with heavy metals and sulphur in soil environment of
different habitats within the zone of industrial emission;
• determination of changes in the total concentration of heavy metals and sulphur of soil
over the years and determination of differences in the concentration of heavy metals and sulphur
in different depths in upper soil layers on the areas of various degradation degree;
• estimation of differences in the load of different Vaccinium myrtillus L. and Vaccinium
vitis-idaea L. populations with heavy metals and sulphur;
• comparison of the content of heavy metals in different Vaccinium myrtillus L. and
Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. organs from the areas within the industrial emission zone and
comparison of their biology under anthropopression.
The analysis has proved that on the areas affected by long term activities of heavy industry, despite the
application of systems limiting industrial emissions, the level of soil pollution with heavy metals remains
at high level. The highest heavy metals cumulation has been recorded on the upper layer of soil (0-5cm)
which indicates anthropogenic origin of this pollution. It is reflected in the decrease of soil enzymatic
activity on this area which is connected with the presence of soil microorganisms. Despite the increase of
pH in soil caused mainly by significant lowering of acidic deposition, the concentration values of heavy
metals in plants still exceed the toxic level.
The examined populations reacted slightly different to stress connected with soil toxicity. In the
direct neighborhood of emissions the difference in the size of leaves has been shown. In Vaccinium vitisidaea
L. population the reduction of leaves has been recorded and in Vaccinium myrtillus L. the growth at
the simultaneous increase of the amount of chlorophyll and carotenoids at both examined species has
been recorded. Both examined species located in the zone of the highest load of heavy metals had the
highest mass of overground plant parts.
In case of both examined bilberries populations, which grew in the neighborhood of Miasteczko
Śląskie Zinc Smelter, on the areas of high concentration of heavy metals in soil, they showed significantly
higher aboveground shoot mass than in the remaining ones. On the area close to Katowice Steelworks,
where concentrations of heavy metals was lower and the examined populations were exposed at their
influence for a shorter period of time, this effect has not appeared. It seems to confirm the thesis that the
gigantism effect at the examined species is caused by the long term exposure at high concentrations of
heavy metals in soil.
The influence of two plants on the layout of the examined pollution also has been noticed.
Vaccinium myrtillus L. and Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. populations located in the zone of their direct
influence showed accidental layout. On the remaining examined areas both species were characterized
with cluster distribution. The conducted analysis show the diversifying influence of industrial pollution on
the spatial structure of the examined populations.
The highest biomass density was noticed at Vaccinium myrtillus L. and Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.
populations from the reference site.