The article reviews effects of nitrogen (N) deposition on beech forest ecosystems in Europe. On the basis of beech plots of the Pan-European Monitoring Programme of ICP Forests and the EU, the deposition of N compounds as well as input-output budgets are listed and compared with studies in North America. The authors also discuss the critical threshold for N leaching. At present, N is leached in 10% of the plots evaluated. An in-depth evaluation of a beech plot in central Germany is presented. The high N leaching results in a considerable increase (four times higher N content in 2000 compared to 1965) in the export of nitrate from the beech forests from a nearby source. Finally, ecophysiological indicators (N content in beech leaves, fine root system, N content, root/shoot ratios) are discussed as a result of high N input.