Determination of effects and critical loads of nitrogen on biodiversity and carbon sequestration on EU-scale

To determine the effects of nitrogen on forests and other nature, a model had been developed for international use. Policy in this area can also be evaluated with such a model.


The high emissions of sulfur and nitrogen in Europe in the last decades of the twentieth century led to acidification and eutrophication of forest and nature. Although sulfur emissions in Europe have been greatly reduced nowadays, the reduction of nitrogen emission remains probably limited. Sensitive nature areas still run an increased risk of damage. The goal of this project is to develop a model for evaluations of policies on air quality and in particular nitrogen, related to impact on forests and nature.

User-friendly tools have been developed to assess the effects of nitrogen and sulfur deposition on biodiversity. A knowledge system was made with information about the ecological ranges by species and vegetation type for temperature, moisture, nutrients and pH on European scale. Also a methodology has been developed to assess the effects of nitrogen deposition, climate change and ozone concentrations on carbon sequestration in forests to calculate for the period 1900-2100.

The models can be downloaded from the RIVM website (see link).