Common spruce

Norway spruce; scientific name: Picea abies
Common spruce
Photo: UPB-Projektgruppe Trier

A major primary producer in semi-natural and anthropogenic affected ecosystems.

Its suitability as a specimen type for the Environmental Specimen Bank is founded on its economic and ecological significance, our considerable understanding of its ecology, population genetics, sensitivity and patterns of accumulation in relation to many hazardous substances.

The target organ is the one-year-old shoot which, when sampled in spring  from February to late May before sprouting begins, presents a comprehensive picture of winter pollution in the environment, unlike the deciduous beech and poplar.

Guideline for Sampling and Sample Processing Norway Spruce (Picea abies) / Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris)

Target organs/Matrices

one-year-old shoot  

Sampling area

BR/NP Berchtesgaden The only high mountains national park in Germany and an area of the Limestone Alps with international relevance
Saarländischer Verdichtungsraum Important, old-industrialised conurbation in Germany.
Bornhöveder Seengebiet Main water divide between the North- and Baltic Sea
NP Bayerischer Wald Germany's first national park
Verdichtungsraum Halle-Leipzig Region in the chemical triangle of Central Germany
NP Harz Germany's largest forest national park
Solling Second highest and largest low mountain range in Northern Germany
BR Pfälzerwald Germany's largest connected forest area in a range of low mountains
Oberbayerisches Tertiärhügelland The Upper Bavarian Tertiary Uplands are a part of the Southern German Molasse Basin


Metals Eighty percent of all elements on earth are metals
Nonmetals Only eighteen elements in the periodic table
Chlorohydrocarbons Group of organic compounds with at least one covalently bonded chlorine atom
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Group of organic compounds with at least three condensed six-membered rings
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds Organic compounds which are fully (per-) or partially (poly-) fluorinated
Stable Isotopes Atoms of one element with different weights
Flame Retardants Flame retardants reduce the flammability of objects
Perchlorate Salts of perchloric acid
Supplementary parameters Additional information for the interpretation of contamination data

Sampling period

1985 - 2019

Biometric parameters

Degree of needle density  

Extended information

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