Modelling Nitrogen Deposition in Germany from 2000-2015

Biodiversity of terrestrial ecosystems in Germany is strongly affected by atmospheric deposition of nitrogen. To support legislative needs to protect ecosystems from nitrogen deposition within a project of the German Environment Agency, total nitrogen deposition was modelled over a period of 16 years.

Resulting deposition data is available on a 1×1 km² grid for the whole area of Germany, for oxidized, reduced and total inorganic nitrogen compounds, for 10 different landuse categories and for dry, wet, occult and total deposition fluxes. On average, deposition in Germany has decreased from above 649 Gg(N )/yr in 2000 to 529 Gg(N)/yr in 2015.

Eutrophication is one of the main reasons threatening biodiversity in Germany. To quantify the risk for biodiversity caused through nitrogen deposition, critical loads and their exceedance are calculated and mapped (CLRTAP, 2017). In Germany national data on the exceedance of critical loads for eutrophication are used as indicators for the National Strategy on Biodiversity and for the National Sustainability Development Strategy. In addition, to prevent ecosystems from unwanted further excessive nitrogen deposition, according to the German emission control and nature protection legislation, nitrogen deposition has to be assessed, when new nitrogen emitting projects are submitted. Due to these legal requirements there is the need for high-resolution and longtime nitrogen deposition data in Germany. Within the current work, national high resolution maps on atmospheric nitrogen deposition in Germany were calculated for the first time for a long time series from 2000 to 2015.