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Determination and assessment of inputs of acidifying and eutrophying air pollutants into terrestrial ecosystems


Ufoplan-Vorhaben - 3712 63 240/1



The input of air pollutants is one of the main reasons for the endangerment of biodiversity in Germany. At the national level, for example in the national biodiversity strategy, as well as at the international level (e.g. EU Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution; EU NEC Directive; UNECE Gothenburg Protocol), it has been agreed to further reduce the exceeding of critical loads through deposition. The necessary emission reductions are to be achieved, for example, through the amendment of the EU NEC Directive planned for 2013. In order to verify compliance with the environmental quality objectives set, current data on pollutant inputs and their significance with regard to the protection of biodiversity are therefore required.

In accordance with the goals of national and international air pollution control policy and to support the enforcement of immission control and nature conservation regulations by the countries, atmospheric inputs of acidifying and eutrophying air pollutants must be modelled, mapped and assessed with regard to the threat to biodiversity by comparison with critical load thresholds. To ensure political acceptance and methodological consistency, widely accepted and already successfully tested models and methods must be used in Germany. At the same time, there are still important research questions within the framework of the previous model combinations, the answers to which lie both in the interest of application (increased validity) and in the interest of development.

The main results of the project are as follows F+E-Vorhabens bestehen darin, dass

  • existing differences to the results of other internationally applied deposition models are investigated and efforts are made to reduce the methodological differences;
  • the methods developed will be improved to such an extent that prognostic estimates of deposition will also be possible with appropriate input data;
  • indicators are further developed with the data obtained in order to create essential bases for nitrogen flux inventories for policy advice and to fulfil Germany's reporting obligations. This includes updating existing indicators and indicator bases of the Geneva Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP), the core indicator system of the Federal Environment Agency and the National Strategy on Biological Diversity;
  • updating the internet-based, high-resolution (1 x 1 km2) and area-wide database for determining the background pollution of ecosystems with nitrogen depositions, which is used e.g. in the context of immission control approval procedures (TA Luft No. 4.8). 

Project result: Nitrogen background pollution Germany