Pollution in Forests

Authored by: Mikhail V. Kozlov , Elena L. Zvereva

Routledge Handbook of Forest Ecology

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415735452
eBook ISBN: 9781315818290
Adobe ISBN: 9781317816447

10.4324/9781315818290.ch31

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Abstract

The influence of industrial pollution on forests has long been recognised as a serious social and scientific problem. We inherited large areas of forests disturbed or destroyed by pollution, and in many countries the destruction continues to the present. Disturbance-induced changes in ecosystems are of central concern in fundamental ecology. From this perspective, the impacts of pollutants on ecosystems can be seen as unintentional large-scale disturbance experiments, the results of which can be studied by ecologists in order to understand the factors that affect the resilience of community structures and ecosystem functions. Habitats transformed by pollution, including unusual landscapes of denuded barren land, can be considered opportunistic macrocosms (unique laboratories) for integrated research on the effects of harsh environmental conditions on terrestrial biota.

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