Application example: Nitrate and DOC discharge after total spruce destruction.

Northwest German Forest Research Institute (NW FVA)

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In recent years, drought and subsequent bark beetle infestations have resulted in total destruction of large proportions of Germany's spruce sites. The Northwest German Forest Research Institute in Göttingen (NW FVA) are investigating whether more nitrate and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is mobilised and discharged into the soil due to the drastic change in the water, heat and material balance from areas than otherwise would be expected.

In addition, the question is being investigated, whether the material balance (including nitrate and DOC discharge) in cleared areas differs from the material balance of those areas where the dead spruce trees have not yet been felled and hauled away, but remain standing until they decay naturally (so-called drought stands).

Leachate extraction from the humus layer and from the mineral soil under cleared and drought stand areas, as well as in vital spruce stands to investigate their concentrations of nitrate and DOC. Simultaneous investigation of accompanying parameters such as soil water content and climatic data.

Product Parameter
14 nitrate monitoring sets (ecoTech development)  
84 Glass suction plates Leachate extraction
14 Mechanical vacuum controls  

Northwest German Forest Research Institute (NW FVA)

Department Environmental Monitoring
SG Intensive Environmental Monitoring


Mr. Olaf Schwerdtfeger
Mr. Dr. Henning Meesenburg

During a joint field day in May 2022 and with the help of NW-FVA staff, two profiling pits were equipped at one of the project sites as an exemplar for the rest of the sites.