N deposition :: Scots pine

Latin name: 

Pinus sylvestris

Impact Type: Deposition of pollutant

Key Concerns:

Direct toxic effects of NH3 at high concentrations have been observed near farms (Pitcairn et al. 1998, van der Eerden et al. 1998). Responses such as altered growth rates and tissue nitrogen concentration are more likely to be a response to total enhanced N deposition. Although the largest deposition fluxes occur in agricultural areas, impacts from N deposition on Scots pine trees in these areas are possible. Wet deposition of NH4+ and NO3- cause acidification leading to a loss of base cations or eutrophication. It also increases the demand for base cations and micronutrients. N additions have also been shown to affect fruit body production in young stands of Pinus sylvestris Termorshulzen (1990).

Additional Comments:                                                                               

Of more concern is the effect of N deposition on the ground flora in Scots pine woodlands. Initial effects will probably increase tree growth which will immediately reduce light reaching the ground. Thereafter, increased litter fall will cover the ground flora and eutrophy the site. NH4+ ions will be bound by organic matter and mineralisation can be stimulated. On less acid sites nitrification may give rise to NO3- leaching of base cations.

Critical Load/level: 

Habitat/ Ecosystem Type Eunis Code Critical Load/ Level Status Reliability Indication of exceedance Reference
Broadleaved deciduous woodland G1

10-20 kg N ha-1 year-1

UNECE 2010 - Noordwijkerhout workshop reliable

Changes in soil processes, nutrient imbalance, altered composition mycorrhiza and ground vegetation.



Mason, P.A.; Wilson, J.; Last, F.T. 1984 Mycorrhizal fungi of Betula spp.: factors affecting their occurrence Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 85B 141-151
Pitcairn, C.E.R.; Leith, I.D.; Sheppard, L.J.; Sutton, M.A.; Fowler, D.; Munro, R.C.; Tang, S.; Wilson, D. 1998 The relationship between nitrogen deposition, species composition and foliar nitrogen concentrations in woodland flora in the vicinity of livestock farms. Environmental Pollution 102 41-48
Van der Eerden, L.J.M.; Vries, W.; Dobben, H. 1998 Effects of ammonia deposition on forests in the Netherlands Atmospheric Environment 32 525-532

Species group: