Micronutrient levels in some temperate European tree species: a comparative field study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Micronutrient concentrations in foliage and stemwood (including bark) of six European tree species (Betula pendula Roth., Quercus robur L., Fraxinus excelsior L., Fagus sylvatica L., Tilia cordata Mill. and Picea abies (L.) Karst.) planted on the same type of soil at six sites in three different countries were studied. Micronutrient concentrations in foliage were considerably higher than in stemwood for all elements and species studied, except for Fe in spruce. Interspecies comparisons revealed significant differences in concentrations both in foliar and stemwood biomass, as well as in stemwood:foliage nutrient ratios. Lime foliage showed a considerably higher concentration of B than all other species, while the stemwood concentration of this element was highest in ash. Mn concentration in both foliar and stemwood biomass of ash was extremely low compared with concentrations in other species. Birch stemwood showed nearly double the level of Zn in other species at all sites. Zn concentrations in the birch foliage were also higher than in other species, with the exception of the Lithuanian sites, which showed lower EDTA-extractable Zn concentrations in the soils. The concentration of Cu was lowest in spruce foliage, while Cu concentrations in stemwood were similar in all species. It was concluded that species-related differences in microelement nutrition must be taken into account when evaluating the nutrient status of common European forest tree species, and when using them as bio-indicators of the effects of environmental pollution.


  • Anna Hagen-Thorn
  • Ingrid Stjernquist
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology


  • stemwood, forest, micronutrient, foliage, deciduous
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-579
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Plant Ecology and Systematics (Closed 2011) (011004000)