International Nitrogen Initiative Workshop: Nitrogen Deposition, Critical Loads and Biodiversity

Nov 16 2009 12:00
Nov 18 2009 17:00

An international workshop in collaboration with experts from the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

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Increases in nitrogen (N) deposition in broad areas of Europe and North America, and parts of Asia, over the last 50 years have resulted in losses of plant diversity, shifts in plant communities, changes in ecosystem services and food webs, and other adverse environmental effects. Recent modelling projects increased rates of atmospheric N deposition over the next decades in most regions of the globe. Some parts of the world, such as Europe and Canada, have adopted an effects threshold approach for assessing the impacts of N deposition, known as Critical Loads. N deposition is above or approaching critical loads in parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America. However, shortcomings in several areas currently hamper adoption of the approach and general assessment of nitrogen impacts.

Workshop Goals:

  • Assess N deposition estimates at regional to global scales;
  • Evaluate N critical loads and their exceedances as suitable tools/indicators;
  • Consider options for the assessment of ecosystem responses to N addition in different regions of the world;
  • Integrate global scientific knowledge and promote policy and management actions

Workshop Format:
The Workshop, organized by the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI), will address these needs by
considering five key topic areas in plenary and breakout sessions. Overarching themes will include the
exchange of information between different regions and disciplines and how measurements and
approaches for assessing N deposition and biodiversity loss can be harmonized at a global scale. Key
topic areas:

  1. Progress in monitoring and modelling estimates of N deposition at local, regional and global scales;
  2. Factors affecting N deposition impacts on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem biodiversity;
  3. Development of the critical loads concept and its application to different regions of the world;
  4. Importance of N deposition effects on ecosystem services and interactions with other pollutants (e.g. ozone) and climate change;
  5. Implications of current knowledge on N deposition and impacts for policy, management and capacity building needs.

Venue Details
The George hotel:

Organizing Committee:
Workshop Co-Chairs: Kevin Hicks, Richard Haeuber
Members: Albert Bleeker, Roland Bobbink, Mercedes Bustamante, Tom Clair, Frank Dentener, Nancy
Dise, Jan Willem Erisman, Jim Galloway, Jean Paul Hettelingh, Duan Lei, Annika Nordin , Till
Spranger, Wim de Vries, Wang Zifa (TBC)

Sponsors: CBD, CEH, COST729, INI, LRTAP, Packard Foundation, SEI, USEPA, VROM