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Trends in nitrogen deposition and leaching in acid-sensitive streams in Europe

Title data

Wright, Richard F. ; Alewell, Christine ; Cullen, J. M. ; Evans, Christopher D. ; Marchetto, Aldo ; Moldan, Filip ; Prechtel, Annette ; Rogora, Michela:
Trends in nitrogen deposition and leaching in acid-sensitive streams in Europe.
In: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. Vol. 5 (2001) Issue 3 . - pp. 299-310.
ISSN 1607-7938
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-5-299-2001

Abstract in another language

Long-term records of nitrogen in deposition and streamwater were analysed at 30 sites covering major acid sensitive regions in Europe. Largeregions of Europe have received high inputs of inorganic nitrogen for the past 20-30 years, with an approximate 20% decline in central andnorthern Europe during the late 1990s. Nitrate concentrations in streamwaters are related to the amount of N deposition. All sites with lessthan 10 kgN ha-1 yr-1 deposition have low concentrations of nitrate in streamwater, whereas all sites receiving > 25 kgN ha-1 yr-1 have elevatedconcentrations. Very few of the sites exhibit significant trends in nitrate concentrations; similar analyses on other datasets also show fewsignificant trends. Nitrogen saturation is thus a process requiring many decades, at least at levels of N deposition typical for Europe. Declinesin nitrate concentrations at a few sites may reflect recent declines in N deposition. The overall lack of significant trends in nitrate concentrationsin streams in Europe may be the result of two opposing factors. Continued high deposition of nitrogen (above the 10 kgN ha-1 yr-1 threshold)should tend to increase N saturation and give increased nitrate concentrations in run-off, whereas the decline in N deposition over the past 5–10 years in large parts of Europe should give decreased nitrate concentrations in run-off. Short and long-term variations in climate affectnitrate concentrations in streamwater and, thus, contribute “noise” which masks long-term trends. Empirical data for geographic pattern andlong-term trends in response of surface waters to changes in N deposition set the premises for predicting future contributions of nitrate toacidification of soils and surface waters. Quantification of processes governing nitrogen retention and loss in semi-natural terrestrial ecosystemsis a scientific challenge of increasing importance.Keywords: Europe, acid deposition, nitrogen, saturation, recovery, water

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER7533
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Soil Ecology
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2015 05:56
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2018 08:40
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/20272