Research output

Detection of temporal trends in atmospheric deposition of inorganic nitrogen and sulphate to forests in Europe

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article


  • Peter Waldner
  • Aldo Marchetto
  • Anne Thimonier
  • Maria Schmitt
  • Michela Rogora
  • Oliver Granke
  • Volker Mues
  • Karin Hansen
  • Gunilla Pihl Karlsson
  • Daniel Zlindra
  • Nicholas Clarke
  • Andis Lazdins
  • Claus Schimming
  • Carmen Iacoban
  • Antti-Jussi Lindroos
  • Elena Vanguelova
  • Sue Benham
  • Henning Meesenburg
  • Manuel Nicolas
  • Anna Kowalska
  • Vladislav Apuhtin
  • Ulle Nappa
  • Zora Lachmanova
  • Ferdinand Kristoefel
  • Albert Bleeker
  • Morten Ingerslev
  • Lars Vesterdal
  • Juan Molina
  • Uwe Fischer
  • Walter Seidling
  • Mathieu Jonard
  • Philip O'Dea
  • James Johnson
  • Richard Fischer
  • Martin Lorenz

External Organisations

  • ISE, Institute of Ecosystem Study
  • Digsyland, Institut für Digitale Systemanalyse & Landschaftsdiagnose
  • UHH, University Hamburg, Centre for Wood Sciences, Worldforestry
  • IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute
  • Slovenian Forestry Institute
  • Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute
  • SILAVA, Latvian State forest research institute
  • Centre for Ecology, University of Kiel
  • Experiment Station for Spruce Silviculture
  • METLA, Finnish Forest Research Institute
  • Forest Research, Alice Holt Lodge
  • NW-FVA, Nordwestdeutsche Forstliche Versuchsanstalt
  • ONF, Office National des Forêts, Département Recherche et Développement
  • FRI, Forest Research Institute
  • Estonian Environment Agency
  • University of Tartu
  • FGMRI, Forestry and Game Management Research Institute
  • BFW, Federal Research Centre for Forests
  • Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands
  • Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen
  • Thünen-Institute of Forest Ecosystems
  • UCL-ELI, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Earth and Live Institute
  • Coillte Laboratories
  • UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin
  • Thünen Institute for International Forestry and Forest Economics
  • WSL, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research


Original languageEnglish
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Pages (from-to)363-374
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 26-Jun-2014


Atmospheric deposition to forests has been monitored within the International Cooperative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (ICP Forests) with sampling and analyses of bulk precipitation and throughfall at several hundred forested plots for more than 15 years. The current deposition of inorganic nitrogen (nitrate and ammonium) and sulphate is highest in central Europe as well as in some southern regions. We compared linear regression and ManneKendall trend analysis techniques often used to detect temporal trends in atmospheric deposition. The choice of method influenced the number of significant trends. Detection of trends was more powerful using monthly data compared to annual data. The slope of a trend needed to exceed a certain minimum in order to be detected despite the short-term variability of deposition. This variability could to a large extent be explained by meteorological processes, and the minimum slope of detectable trends was thus
similar across sites and many ions. The overall decreasing trends for inorganic nitrogen and sulphate in the decade to 2010 were about 2% and 6%, respectively. Time series of about 10 and 6 years were required to detect significant trends in inorganic nitrogen and sulphate on a single plot. The strongest decreasing
trends were observed in western central Europe in regions with relatively high deposition fluxes, whereas stable or slightly increasing deposition during the last 5 years was found east of the Alpine region as well as in northern Europe. Past reductions in anthropogenic emissions of both acidifying and eutrophying compounds can be confirmed due to the availability of long-term data series but further reductions are required to reduce deposition to European forests to levels below which significant harmful effects do not occur according to present knowledge.
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  • Waldner_etal_2014_AtmosEnviron

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