A methodology to link national and local information for spatial targeting of ammonia mitigation efforts

Carnell, E.J.; Misselbrook, T.H.; Dore, A.J.; Sutton, M.A.; Dragosits, U.. 2017 A methodology to link national and local information for spatial targeting of ammonia mitigation efforts. Atmospheric Environment, 164. 195-204.

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The effects of atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition are evident in terrestrial ecosystems worldwide, with eutrophication and acidification leading to significant changes in species composition. Substantial reductions in N deposition from nitrogen oxides emissions have been achieved in recent decades. By contrast, ammonia (NH3) emissions from agriculture have not decreased substantially and are typically highly spatially variable, making efficient mitigation challenging. One solution is to target NH3 mitigation measures spatially in source landscapes to maximize the benefits for nature conservation. The paper develops an approach to link national scale data and detailed local data to help identify suitable measures for spatial targeting of local sources near designated Special Areas of Conservation (SACs). The methodology combines high-resolution national data on emissions, deposition and source attribution with local data on agricultural management and site conditions. Application of the methodology for the full set of 240 SACs in England found that agriculture contributes ∼45% of total N deposition. Activities associated with cattle farming represented 54% of agricultural NH3 emissions within 2 km of the SACs, making them a major contributor to local N deposition, followed by mineral fertilizer application (21%). Incorporation of local information on agricultural management practices at seven example SACs provided the means to correct outcomes compared with national-scale emission factors. The outcomes show how national scale datasets can provide information on N deposition threats at landscape to national scales, while local-scale information helps to understand the feasibility of mitigation measures, including the impact of detailed spatial targeting on N deposition rates to designated sites.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Dise
ISSN: 1352-2310
Additional Keywords: ammonia, dry deposition, emission abatement, nitrogen, UK
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 02 Jun 2017 13:48 +0 (UTC)

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