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Relationship between critical load exceedances and empirical impact indicators at Integrated Monitoring sites across Europe

Holmberg, M.; Vuorenmaa, J.; Posch, M.; Forsius, M.; Lundin, L.; Kleemola, S.; Augustaitis, A.; Beudert, B.; de Wit, H.A.; Dirnböck, T.; Evans, C.D.; Frey, J.; Grandin, U.; Indriksone, I.; Krám, P.; Pompei, E.; Schulte-Bisping, H.; Srybny, A.; Váňa, M.. 2013 Relationship between critical load exceedances and empirical impact indicators at Integrated Monitoring sites across Europe. Ecological Indicators, 24. 256-265. 10.1016/j.ecolind.2012.06.013

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Abstract/Summary

Critical loads for acidification and eutrophication and their exceedances were determined for a selection of ecosystem effects monitoring sites in the Integrated Monitoring programme (UNECE ICP IM). The level of protection of these sites with respect to acidifying and eutrophying deposition was estimated for 2000 and 2020. In 2020 more sites were protected from acidification (67%) than in 2000 (61%). However, due to the sensitivity of the sites, even the maximum technically feasible emission reductions scenario would not protect all sites from acidification. In 2000, around 20% of the IM sites were protected from eutrophication. In 2020, under reductions in accordance with current legislation, about one third of the sites would be protected, and at best, with the maximum technically feasible reductions, half of the sites would be protected from eutrophication. Data from intensively monitored sites, such as those in ICP IM, provide a connection between modelled critical thresholds and empirical observations, and thus an indication of the applicability of critical load estimates for natural ecosystems. Across the sites, there was good correlation between the exceedance of critical loads for acidification and key acidification parameters in runoff water, both with annual mean fluxes and concentrations. There was also evidence of a link between exceedances of critical loads of nutrient nitrogen and nitrogen leaching. The collected empirical data of the ICP IM thus allow testing and validation of key concepts used in the critical load calculations. This increases confidence in the European-scale critical loads mapping used in integrated assessment modelling to support emission reduction agreements.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.ecolind.2012.06.013
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 onwards > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 1 - Monitoring and Interpretation of Biogeochemical and Climate Changes > BGC - 1.3 - Quantify & attribute changes in biogeochemiical cycles ...
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 onwards > Water > WA Topic 1 - Variability and Change in Water Systems > WA - 1.1 - Continued long term monitoring and integrated observation of freshwater systems
CEH Sections: Emmett
ISSN: 1470-160X
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: The attached document is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Ecological Indicators. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Ecological Indicators, 24. 256-265. 10.1016/j.ecolind.2012.06.013 www.elsevier.com/
Additional Keywords: acidification, eutrophication, sulphur deposition, nitrogen deposition
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 26 Sep 2012 14:08
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/19249

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