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Volume 1, Pages 423-432
Research Article

Assessments of Impacts of Nitrogen Deposition on Beech Forests: Results from the Pan-European Intensive Monitoring Programme

1Hessen Forst FIV, D-34346 Hann, Münden, Germany
2BMVEL/ICP Forests, P.O. Box 150270, D-53107, Bonn, Germany
3FIMCI Forest Intensive Monitoring Co-ordinating Institute, P.O.Box 47, NL-6700 AC Wageningen, The Netherlands
4Alterra Green World Research, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands

Academic Editor: Joe Wisniewski

Copyright © 2001 Johannes Eichhorn et al.


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.