Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mistletoes give away soil contamination

22.12.2008
Scientists of the Julius Kühn-Institut show relationship between abundance of mistletoes and heavy metal contamination of soils

During Christmas time people exchange traditionally kisses under mistletoes. While mistletoes are welcome in private, they may not if populating trees in vast numbers. Scientists of Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI) in Braunschweig demonstrated that the semiparasite indicates heavy metal contamination of soils.

The proliferation of mistletoes is related to many factors such as the abundance of host trees, bird species which feed on the berries and distribute them in the environment, microclimate and last but not least individual resistance mechanisms of the host tree. The resistance of trees is reduced on soils which are polluted with heavy metals. Scientists of the Institute for Crop and Soil Science proved only recently in an extended study that in particular poplars are colonised by mistletoes and this in distinctly higher numbers than for instance maple and lime tree.

Ewald Schnug reports that "In the Goslar region in the Harz mountain soils are contaminated with lead, copper and zinc because of its mining history. On soils with a low pollution 9% and on highly contaminated sites 49% of all poplar trees are infested by mistletoes". He further denotes that mistletoes were found more often on black poplar than Lombardy poplar. The scientists provided evidence that an increasing infestation of trees by mistletoes indicate heavy metal contamination of soils. Based on their research which started in 2003, the scientists started to develop a procedure for sensing soil contamination by employing poplars and their mistletoe infestation index as indicators.

Your scientific contact:
Prof. Dr. Dr. habil. Dr. h.c. Ewald Schnug
Institute for Crop and Soil Science
at Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI) - Federal Research Center for Cultivated Plants
Bundesallee 50, 38116 Braunschweig
phone.: +49 531/ 596-2102
e-mail: pb@jki.bund.de
Background information on the project:
The research project "A contribution to occurrence of hardwood mistletoe on heavy metal contaminated soils" is under investigation since 2003 and was finalised in 2008. Results have been published in two PhD and one MSc theses. Research was partly carried out with HISCIA in Dornach (Switzerland) and Jacobs University in Bremen. Interim results are published in the special issue 301 of FAL - Agricultural Research: Ramm, H. (2006): Einfluss bodenchemischer Standortfaktoren auf Wachstum und pharmazeutische Qualität von Eichenmisteln (Viscum album auf Quercus robur und petreae). In one of the next issues of vTI Agriculture and Forestry Research a paper on "Potential correlation of heavy metals in surface soils with infestation of Viscum album in poplar trees" by Sharma, Steckel, Koschinsky and Schnug (2009) will be published.

Stefanie Hahn | idw
Further information:
http://www.jki.bund.de

Further reports about: Kühn-Institut Mistletoes Soil Soil Science contaminated soil crop heavy metals

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>