The term abiotic refers to the non-living components of the environment, such as air, rocks, soil, water, peat, and plant litter. Abiotic damage is caused by abiotic agents and this group includes for example fire, wind, snow, frost, sunscald and air pollutants.
Sunscald, freeze and fire heat injury cause rough, scaling bark and, sometimes, limited cambium death. Wind and snow may break tree stems. Famous storms are given names, such as storm Lothar of 1999 and Kyrill in 2007. Both of these storms caused serious damage in European forests.
Air pollutants include hydrocarbons, SO2, O3, acid precipitation and photochemical smog. Their effects include discoloration and necrosis of the foliage.
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