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NSINK: Training in sources, sinks and impacts of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in the Arctic (Sheffield APS) (NSINK - Sheffield)

Arctic ecosystems are one of the world’s remaining pristine wilderness areas, but these systems can be particularly sensitive to global change. Recent research shows that enrichment of some Arctic ecosystems may be occurring in the form of sudden and abrupt nitrogen deposition events, where dirty air masses originating from industrialised Europe p

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Project date

Starts
2009-05-01

Ends
2011-09-30

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Project Keywords

  • biosphere / ecological dynamics / ecosystem functions
  • biosphere / vegetation / nitrogen
  • atmosphere / air quality / nitrogen oxides

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Summary

Arctic ecosystems are one of the world’s remaining pristine wilderness areas, but these systems can be particularly sensitive to global change. Recent research shows that enrichment of some Arctic ecosystems may be occurring in the form of sudden and abrupt nitrogen deposition events, where dirty air masses originating from industrialised Europe pass over the Arctic and deposit a large proportion of the annual total N deposition as N rich acidic rain in just a few days. The combined impact of additional N supply in an acidifying form may be considerable with impacts on plant growth, diversity and carbon cycling. This project aims to understand how extreme and sudden nitric acid deposition events impacts on plants of the High Arctic. Using field plots to simulate these N inputs, particular attention will be paid to quantifying plant growth responses, changes in productivity and diversity, and on the capacity of these systems to act as a carbon sink. The work forms part of a larger consortium (NSINK: see http://www.nsink.group.shef.ac.uk/) investigating the sources, transport, atmospheric chemistry and fate of tropospheric and stratospheric N deposition in polar regions.

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