Modelling the effects of changing climate and nitrogen deposition on nitrate dynamics in a Scottish mountain catchment

Futter, M.N.; Helliwell, R.C.; Hutchins, M.; Aherne, J.. 2009 Modelling the effects of changing climate and nitrogen deposition on nitrate dynamics in a Scottish mountain catchment. Hydrology Research, 40 (2-3). 153-166. 10.2166/nh.2009.073

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The effect of changing climate and N deposition on montane ecosystems is a topic of considerable importance. Mountains are vulnerable environments and their ecosystems are often in a delicate balance. An application of the INCA-N model is presented to simulate current-day nitrate dynamics in a Scottish mountain lake and to project the possible future effects of climate change and reductions in N deposition on lake nitrate concentration ([NO3-]). The INCA-N model is calibrated using data from 1996–2006 in an attempt to determine the controls on [NO3-] in Lochnagar and process sensitivities to changing climate. Predictions were sensitive to hydrologic, vegetation-related and in-soil processes. Over the longer term, surface water [NO3-] in this mountain ecosystem is expected to increase. From 2020 to 2100, when N deposition is modelled at a constant rate, warmer temperature exerts a stronger effect on N losses to the lake surface than the N deposition. While the effects of a warming climate are projected to lead to increased surface water [NO3-], concentrations are not projected to either return to, or exceed, historical levels.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.2166/nh.2009.073
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry
CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Water
CEH Sections: Boorman (to September 2014)
ISSN: 0029-1277
Additional Keywords: climate change; Lochnagar; modeling; mountain lakes; nitrate; water quality
NORA Subject Terms: Meteorology and Climatology
Ecology and Environment
Atmospheric Sciences
Related URLs:
Date made live: 11 Jun 2009 13:38 +0 (UTC)

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