Integrated assessment of impacts of atmospheric deposition and climate change on forest ecosystem services in Europe

W. de Vries, M. Posch, G.J. Reinds, L.T.C. Bonten, J.P. Mol, G.W.W. Wamelink, J.P. Hettelingh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Important forest ecosystem services are pollutant filtering relevant for an adequate water quality (regulating service), wood production (provisioning service) with related carbon (C) storage (regulating service) and the provision of a habitat for a diversity of plants and animals (supporting service). Nitrogen (N) and sulphur (S) deposition affect these ecosystem services. In this chapter, we describe the application of the soil model VSD, in combination with the forest growth model EUgrow and the plant species occurrence model PROPS to quantify the impact of N and S deposition on: (i) changes in soil buffering, in terms of accumulation or depletion of the pools of N, base cations (BC) and aluminium (Al), and changes in nitrate (NO3) and Al concentration in soil water, (ii) forest growth and carbon sequestration, and (iii) plant species diversity. Results showed that the depletion of Al and BC pools and the soil water concentrations of NO3 and Al increased strongly between 1950 and 1980, followed by a decrease between 1980 and 2010, reflecting the strong initial increase and subsequent decrease in N and S deposition in both periods, respectively. The impact of future emission reductions on the various parameters in the period 2010–2050 was larger than the climate change impact. Unlike soil and water quality, both N deposition and climate change had on average a positive impact on carbon sequestration. N deposition was calculated to be the dominant driver of changes in forest growth in the past (period 1900–2000) and climate change for the future (period 2000–2050). Plant species diversity changed hardly in scenarios assuming constant climate and low N deposition reduction, significantly at constant climate and strongly decreasing N deposition, and sharply when both climate and N deposition changed, especially in areas with a pronounced temperature change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical Loads and Dynamic Risk Assessments: Nitrogen, Acidity and Metals in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems
EditorsW. de Vries, J.P. Hettelingh, M. Posch
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameEnvironmental Pollution


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