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Review and revision of empirical critical loads and dose-response relationships, 2011

 

Abstract

This report describes the scientific background and results from the review and revision of empirical critical loads of nitrogen that had been established for Europe in 2003 under the auspices of the UNECE Convention on Longrange Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP Convention). In 2009 the Coordination Centre for Effects started a project under the LRTAP Convention to bring empirical critical loads up to date. New relevant information from studies (autumn 2002 - spring 2010) on the impacts of nitrogen on natural and semi-natural ecosystems was incorporated in the existing European database on empirical critical loads of N. Empirical critical loads were structured following the classification used in the European Nature Information System (EUNIS). 
Consensus on the results was obtained in a UNECE workshop on the 'Review and revision of empirical critical loads and dose-response relationships' (23-25 June 2010, Noordwijkerhout, the Netherlands), organised by the Coordination Centre for Effects and the B-WARE Research Centre. The results, as provided in Table 1 of the Executive Summary, show that in many cases the outer ranges of the empirical critical loads have decreased. The resulting European database of 2011 includes both revised and newly established value ranges of empirical critical loads of nitrogen for each EUNIS class. The outcome of this report is of major importance for the protection of N-sensitive natural and semi-natural ecosystems across Europe. This knowledge is used in support of European policies to abate air pollution. 

Proceedings of an expert workshop, Noordwijkerhout 23-25 June 2010
Edited by: Roland Bobbink and Jean-Paul Hettelingh
RIVM report No. 680359002
ISBN No. 978-90-6960-251-6

 

 

Contents

Introduction pages

Contents

Executive Summary

Opening address at the Workshop

1. Introduction

2. Updating and reviewing procedures for empirical critical loads of nitrogen

3. Effects of nitrogen deposition on marine habitats (EUNIS class A)

4. Effects of nitrogen deposition on coastal habitats (EUNIS class B)

5. Effects of nitrogen deposition on inland surface water habitats (EUNIS class C)

6. Effects on nitrogen deposition on mire, bog and fen habitats (EUNIS class D)

7. Effects on nitrogen inputs in grasslands and lands dominated by forbs, mosses and lichens (EUNIS class E)

8. Effects of nitrogen deposition on heathland, scrub and tundra habitats (EUNIS class F)

9. Effects of nitrogen deposition on woodland forest and other wooded land (EUNIS class G)

10.Overview of the relationship between exceedances of N critical loads and plant species diversity at the European scale

11.Conclusions and gaps in knowledge

Appendix 1 Classification of habitats according to EUNIS and EU Habitats Directive (Natura2000)

Appendix 2 References for the critical loads ranges for non-taiga woodlands

Appendix 3 References for the critical load ranges for taiga woodlands

Appendix 4 Proposed new empirical loads of nutrient N for fresh waters, based on ICP Waters report

Appendix 5 Report of Working Group 1: Marine habitats(A), Coastal habitats (B), Inland surface waters (C) and Grasslands and lands dominated by forbs, mosses or lichens (E)

Appendix 6 Report of Working Group 2: Mires, Bogs and Fens (D) and Heathland, Scrub and Tundra (F)

Appendix 7 Report of Working Group 3: Forest and woodland habitats (G)

Appendix 8 List of Participants

Appendix 9 Agenda of the Workshop on the Review and Revision of Empirical Critical Loads and Dose-response Relationships

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