NITROSPHERE - A novel approach to investigate effects of atmospheric nitrogen deposition on ecosystem productivity and greenhouse gas exchange

Elevated atmospheric deposition rates of reactive nitrogen (Nr) through intensive farming, traffic and industry have led to serious concerns regarding alterations in ecosystem functioning, plant health, and water quality. Although large efforts have been made in the determination of greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes between biosphere and atmosphere in various ecosystems, knowledge about direct implications of Nr deposition on GHG exchange is still very sparse.

Project Objectives
Despite comprehensive investigations in the field of C and N cycling, there is still little knowledge about direct implications of alterations in N deposition on ecosystem productivity and GHG exchange, which can at least partly be attributed to the lack of comprehensive reactive N measurements with high temporal resolution. Thus, the junior research group NITROSPHERE contributes to ecosystem-atmosphere research by

1.) establishing an improved methodology (the TRANC) for continuous monitoring of Nr exchange and by
2.) synthesizing already existing datasets with a special emphasis on the impact of Nr exchange/deposition on gross ecosystem productivity and on other GHG fluxes of affected ecosystems.

Outcomes of the project are also expected to (i) further develop research infrastructures such as ICOS through instrumental and analytical improvements, (ii) increase the potential of global data assimilation networks such as FLUXNET, (iii) providing a better data basis for (re-)formulating Nr emission factors and climate protection regulations, and (iv) enhance the understanding of C and N cycling in both natural and managed ecosystems.

Project Management
Dr. Christian Brümmer
Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture (TI-AK)
Bundesallee 50
38116 Braunschweig
Tel. +49 531 596 2614


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