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Integrated Assessment of Ecosystem Effects of Atmospheric Deposition
DRISCOLL, C. T., E. B. Cowling, P. Grennfelt, J. M. GALLOWAY, AND R. L. DENNIS. Integrated Assessment of Ecosystem Effects of Atmospheric Deposition. EM: AIR AND WASTE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION'S MAGAZINE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGERS. Air & Waste Management Association, Pittsburgh, PA, (11):6-13, (2010).
The National Exposure Research Laboratory′s (NERL′s) Atmospheric Modeling and Analysis Division (AMAD) conducts research in support of EPA′s mission to protect human health and the environment. AMAD′s research program is engaged in developing and evaluating predictive atmospheric models on all spatial and temporal scales for forecasting the Nation′s air quality and for assessing changes in air quality and air pollutant exposures, as affected by changes in ecosystem management and regulatory decisions. AMAD is responsible for providing a sound scientific and technical basis for regulatory policies based on air quality models to improve ambient air quality. The models developed by AMAD are being used by EPA, NOAA, and the air pollution community in understanding and forecasting not only the magnitude of the air pollution problem, but also in developing emission control policies and regulations for air quality improvements.
Ecosystems obtain a portion of their nutrients from the atmosphere. Following the Industrial Revolution, however, human activities have accelerated biogeochemical cycles, greatly enhancing the transport of substances among the atmosphere, water, soil, and living things. The atmosphere is a key pathway for local-, regional-, and global-scale transport, and atmospheric deposition is an important process by which substances are removed from the atmosphere, by wet deposition, dry deposition, and/or cloud or fog deposition processes. Atmospheric deposition includes beneficial nutrients, inert materials, and substances that are toxic depending upon their concentration or the sensitivity of the organisms or ecosystems exposed. Since humans have altered the chemical climate of the Earth, it is essential that we understand the sources, transport, transformations, and effects of airborne substances on the health and productivity of the ecosystems on which the quality of life depends. Our goal in this article is to discuss how inter-, multi-, and trans-disciplinary research and assessment programs have helped inform managers on the effects of atmospheric deposition on ecosystems and how this understanding has been used to guide air quality management programs in Europe and North America.
Integrated Assessment of Ecosystem Effects of Atmospheric Deposition: Lessons Available to be Learned (PDF,NA pp, 408 KB, about PDF)