Depositions of air pollutants still endanger the biodiversity and other subjects of protection within natural ecosystems in Germany and Europe. The deposited pollutants have a negative influence on the diversity of species and on water quality and lead to a destabilization of ecosystems and risks for humans. The pollutants’impacts are often reinforced by climate change and in turn have an impact on the balance of greenhouse gases. In particular the feedback effect between nitrogen depositions and climate change is significant. The scientific analysis and assessment of the effects of several different loads on ecosystems is therefore of great importance.
The aim of the research project ‘Modelling of Air Pollutants and EcoSystem Impact’ (MAPESI) is to determine the emission, atmospheric concentration and deposition of species SO2, NOx, NH3, NH4, O3, heavy metals Pb, Cd, Cu and base cations Ca, Mg, K and Na, for Germany over the period 2005-2007 in order to improve present Critical Load exceedances calculations. Critical Loads are a quantitative estimate of an exposure to pollutants above which significant harmful effects on specified sensitive elements of the environment occur. The continuation of the Critical Loads Concept and the understanding of effects of exceedances for various ecosystems is essential for the development of national policies for pollution abatement.