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Ecological issues related to N deposition to natural ecosystems: research needs

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Environment International 29:189-199


There has and continues to be concern about the effects of elevated nitrogen (N) deposition on natural ecosystems. In this paper, research on natural ecosystems, including wetlands, heathlands, grasslands, steppe, naturally regenerated forests and deserts, is evaluated to determine what is known about nitrogen cycling in these ecosystems, the effects of elevated nitrogen on them and to identify research gaps. Aquatic ecosystems are not included in this review, except as they are part of the larger ecosystem. Research needs fall into several categories: (1) improved understanding and quantification of the N cycle, particularly relatively unstudied processes such as dry deposition, N fixation and decomposition/mineralization; (2) carbon cycling as affected by increased N deposition; (3) effects on arid ecosystems and other "neglected" ecosystems; (4) effects on complex ecosystems and interactions with other pollutants; (5) indicators and assessment tools for natural ecosystems.


Nitrogen; Carbon; Acidic deposition; Air pollution impacts; Ecosystem impacts


Adams, Mary Beth. 2003. Ecological issues related to N deposition to natural ecosystems: research needs. Environment International 29:189-199

Last updated on: January 24, 2007