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Nitrogen deposition in Spain: modeled patterns and threatened habitats within the Natura 2000 network.

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      Abstract

      The Mediterranean Basin presents an extraordinary biological richness but very little information is available on the threat that air pollution, and in particular reactive nitrogen (N), can pose to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. This study represents the first approach to assess the risk of N enrichment effects on Spanish ecosystems. The suitability of EMEP and CHIMERE air quality model systems as tools to identify those areas where effects of atmospheric N deposition could be occurring was tested. For this analysis, wet deposition of NO3(-) and NH4(+) estimated with EMEP and CHIMERE model systems were compared with measured data for the period 2005-2008 obtained from different monitoring networks in Spain. Wet N deposition was acceptably predicted by both models, showing better results for oxidized than for reduced nitrogen, particularly when using CHIMERE. Both models estimated higher wet deposition values in northern and northeastern Spain, and decreasing along a NE-SW axis. Total (wet+dry) nitrogen deposition in 2008 reached maxima values of 19.4 and 23.0 kg N ha(-1) year(-1) using EMEP and CHIMERE models respectively. Total N deposition was used to estimate the exceedance of N empirical critical loads in the Natura 2000 network. Grassland habitats proved to be the most threatened group, particularly in the northern alpine area, pointing out that biodiversity conservation in these protected areas could be endangered by N deposition. Other valuable mountain ecosystems can be also threatened, indicating the need to extend atmospheric deposition monitoring networks to higher altitudes in Spain.

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      Affiliations
      [1 ] Atmospheric Pollution Division, CIEMAT, Av. Complutense 40, Madrid 28040, Spain. Electronic address: hector.garcia@ciemat.es.
      [2 ] Atmospheric Pollution Division, CIEMAT, Av. Complutense 40, Madrid 28040, Spain. Electronic address: juanluis.garrido@ciemat.es.
      [3 ] Atmospheric Pollution Division, CIEMAT, Av. Complutense 40, Madrid 28040, Spain. Electronic address: m.garcia@ciemat.es.
      [4 ] CNRS/Université Pierre et Marie Curie, UMR Sisyphe, 4 Place Jussieu, Paris 75005, France. Electronic address: lassalet@bio.ucm.es.
      [5 ] Atmospheric Pollution Division, CIEMAT, Av. Complutense 40, Madrid 28040, Spain. Electronic address: isaura.rabago@ciemat.es.
      [6 ] CREAF (Center for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra 08193, Spain. Electronic address: anna.avila@uab.es.
      [7 ] MSC-W of EMEP, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Henrik Mohns plass 1, Oslo 0313, Norway. Electronic address: svetlana.tsyro@met.no.
      [8 ] Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (ICP Forests), c/Ríos Rosas 24-6°, Madrid 28003, Spain. Electronic address: GSanchez@magrama.es.
      [9 ] Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Air Quality and Industrial Environment), Pza. S. Juan de la Cruz, s/n, Madrid 28071, Spain. Electronic address: Alberto.Gonzalez@eea.europa.eu.
      [10 ] Atmospheric Pollution Division, CIEMAT, Av. Complutense 40, Madrid 28040, Spain. Electronic address: ignacio.gonzalez@ciemat.es.
      [11 ] Atmospheric Pollution Division, CIEMAT, Av. Complutense 40, Madrid 28040, Spain. Electronic address: rocio.alonso@ciemat.es.
      Journal
      Sci. Total Environ.
      The Science of the total environment
      Elsevier BV
      1879-1026
      0048-9697
      Jul 01 2014
      : 485-486
      24742555
      S0048-9697(14)00452-5
      10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.03.112

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