Since several decades natural ecosystems are exposed to high atmospheric deposition of pollutants such as sulphur and nitrogen. Due to international conventions sulphur deposition was reduced significantly, however, atmospheric nitrogen deposition in Germany is still elevated and average in app. 40 kg ha-1-yr-1 in forest ecosystems. Elevated atmospheric deposition of nitrogen can cause various environmental effects, including acidification and eutrophication of terrestrial ecosystems with related impacts on plant and faunal biodiversity, surface and groundwater pollution as well as global warming due to enhanced emission of N2O.
Linked biogeochemistry-biodiversity models have the great potential to evaluate and assess the multiple environmental impacts of N deposition, their interaction and their spatial and temporal variability and could be used for derivation of dynamical critical loads for nitrogen an important issue for European policies, especially in the framework of the UNECE convention on LRTAP.
The main aim of the UBA project is to apply the ForestDNDC model for quantification of deposition driven losses of N-trace gases (N2O, NO, N2) and NO3- leaching, and changes in nitrogen as well as acidification status of forest ecosystems in Germany. Thereby, ForestDNDC will be linked to dynamic vegetation models (BERN, statistical approach WIE) to evaluate impacts of N deposition on plant biodiversity driven by changes in soil C/N, inorganic N concentration, pH and base saturation.
Contact: Ralf Kiese