Criteria and indicators of acceptable armospheric deposition of sulfur and nitrogen on forest in western Europe

N. van Breemen, W. de Vries, P.H.B. de Visser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter compares the Criteria and Indicator approach of the Montreal Process with the European approach to derive environmental policy options by identifying critical loads for atmospheric deposition. After an overview of the main changes in soil chemistry resulting from excessive soil acidification, it discusses the Montreal criteria and indicators most relevant to acidification one by one in the light of research in Europe. The four discussed criteria are: conservation of biological diversity; maintenance of productive capacity of forest ecosystems; maintenance of forest ecosystem health and vitality; and conservation and maintenance of soil and water resources. Genetic diversity can possibly alter due to excessive soil acidification by extinction of acid-sensitive species or subspecies. The influence of the pollutants nitrogen and sulfur via soil on tree health is exerted by means of soil acidification and eutrophication.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSSSA Special Publication 53 "The contribution of soil science to the development of and implementation of criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management
EditorsM.B. Adams, K. Ramakrishna, E.A. Davidson
ISBN (Print)9780891188315
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Atmospheric deposition
  • Biological diversity
  • Criteria and indicator approach
  • Environmental policy options
  • Europe
  • Forest ecosystem health
  • Genetic diversity
  • Soil acidification
  • Soil chemistry
  • Species diversity


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