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Publication Detail
Challenges in defining critical loads for nitrogen in UK Lakes
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Curtis CJ, Simpson GL, Battarbee RW, Maberly S
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    337, 344
  • ISBN-13:
  • Status:
  • Book title:
    Nitrogen Deposition, Critical Loads and Biodiversity: Proceedings of the International Nitrogen Initiative Workshop, Linking Experts of the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution and the Convention on Biological Diversity
© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014. Empirical critical loads for nutrient N have been recommended to protect macrophyte communities of shallow softwater lakes in Europe. The recommended range of exceeded across most of the UK, but most oligotrophic lakes are of a different habitat type to those for which empirical critical loads have been recommended. Furthermore, while there is widespread evidence from nutrient bioassay work for N limitation of phytoplankton production in oligotrophic lakes there is little direct evidence to date of impacts on other biological groups in the UK, including macrophytes. A major problem is the lack of data on reference communities in unimpacted lakes and lack of identified âeharmful ecological effectsâec required by the definition of critical loads. There are also fundamental differences in approach between the critical loads employed under the UNECE Gothenburg Protocol and the EU Water Framework Directive. We show that there are major challenges in application of critical loads for nutrient N which must be overcome if we are to protect designated sites of conservation interest and maintain, or allow recovery to, the good ecological status required by the EU Water Framework Directive.
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