Forests in the Netherlands are heavily under stress. Recent surveys suggest that about one-third of the forest area in the Netherlands is affected by desiccation. Generally, plant species of moist situations decline, whereas drought tolerant species tend to increase. Besides desiccation, adverse ecological effects of acidification and nitrogen deposition also occur. Their combined action is held responsible for, among others, the decline of oligotrophic vascular plants, lichens and mycorrhizal fungi. At the same time, N-demanding species increase, which is partly caused by nitrogen deposition, and is partly a secondary effect of desiccation through aeration and concomitant mineralization. Nutrient balance of trees is disrupted. Effects on animals also occur: small snails in forest on acid soil decrease, causing Ca deficiency in birds. Measures to reduce these impacts include restoration of the former hydrology, liming, fertilization and removal of N-saturated littler layers.
- groundwater level
- acid rain
van Tol, G., van Dobben, H. F., Schmidt, P., & Klap, J. M. (1998). Biodiversity of Dutch forest ecosystems as affected by receding groundwater levels and atmospheric deposition. Biodiversity and Conservation, 7, 221-228. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1008888519478