Critical loads and dynamic modelling to assess European Areas at risk of acidification and eutrophication
European critical loads and novel dynamic modelling data have been compiled under the LRTAP Convention by the Coordination Centre for Effects. In 2000 9.8% of the pan-European and 20.8% of the EU25 ecosystem area were at risk of acidification. For eutrophication (nutrient N) the areas at risk were 30.1 and 71.2%, respectively. Dynamic modelling results reveal that 95% of the area at risk of acidification could recover by 2030 provided acid deposition is reduced according to present legislation. Insight into the timing of effects of exceedances of critical loads for nutrient N necessitates the further development of dynamic models.
Using depositions for the year 2000 shows that critical loads in 8.5% of the ecosystem area in Europe are exceeded; and for eutrophication this area is even 28.5%. These exceedances imply that those ecosystems are sooner or later at risk of being damaged.
To be able to estimate the timing of this damage, dynamic modelling is required. The use of dynamic models of acidification enabled to identify that about 95% of the ecosystems still at the risk of damage in 2010 could recover by 2030 if acid deposition is sufficiently reduced. This includes about 50% of the ecosystems for which reductions even below critical load are required.
The high exceedances of critical loads for eutrophication make it desirable to use dynamic models to improve also our knowledge on time delays of damage and recovery caused by excessive inputs of nitrogen.
|Author(s)||Hettelingh JP ; Posch M ; Slootweg J ; Reinds GJ ; Spranger T ; Tarrason L|
|Publication||Water Air Soil Pollut Focus 2007; 7(1-3):379-84|