Exceedance of atmospheric nitrogen deposition above critical loads for eutrophication in Europe in 2020

Figure Created 14 Nov 2022 Published 24 Nov 2022 Last modified 29 Nov 2023
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The map shows the ecosystem areas at risk of eutrophication in 2020. Critical loads refer to the upper limits of one or more pollutants deposited on the Earth’s surface that an ecosystem, such as nutrient-poor grasslands or forests, can tolerate without its function (e.g. the nutrient nitrogen cycle) or its structure (e.g. plant species’ richness) being damaged. If the deposition of airborne nitrogen (nitrate and ammonium compounds) is in excess of these critical loads, this is termed an ‘exceedance’, and an ecosystem is considered at risk of eutrophication. The map shows areas where critical loads are not exceeded (grey shading), indicating no risk of eutrophication, and where atmospheric nitrogen deposition exceeds critical loads, by magnitude of exceedance.

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