The geoecology of a serpentinite-dominated site in the Czech Republic was investigated by rock, soil, water, and plant analyses. The 22-ha Pluhův Bor watershed is almost entirely forested by a nearly 110-year old plantation of Picea abies (Norway Spruce) mixed with native Pinus sylvestris (Scots Pine) in the highest elevations. It is mainly underlain by serpentinite, with occassional tremolite and actinolite schists and amphibolite outcrops. Tremolite schists and especially serpentinites are characterized by extremely high concentrations of Mg, Ni, and Cr and by negligible concentrations of K, creating an unusual environment for plants. The spruce growth rate is very slow, apparently as a result of K deficiency, Mg oversupply, and Ni toxicity. Foliar Ca is in the upper part of the optimum range because schists and amphibolites are important sources of Ca to the soil exchangeable pool and vegetation. Mineral weathering and atmospheric deposition generate near-neutral magnesium-bicarbonate-sulfate streamwater with a high concentration of Ni.
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