Environmental Agency of Bolzano

Laives - Leifers, Italy

Environmental Agency of Bolzano

Laives - Leifers, Italy

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Nickel S.,University of Vechta | Schroder W.,University of Vechta | Wosniok W.,University of Bremen | Harmens H.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | And 36 more authors.
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2017

Objective This study explores the statistical relations between the concentration of nine heavy metals (HM) (arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), vanadium (V), zinc (Zn)), and nitrogen (N) in moss and potential explanatory variables (predictors) which were then used for mapping spatial patterns across Europe. Based on moss specimens collected in 2010 throughout Europe, the statistical relation between a set of potential predictors (such as the atmospheric deposition calculated by use of two chemical transport models (CTM), distance from emission sources, density of different land uses, population density, elevation, precipitation, clay content of soils) and concentrations of HMs and nitrogen (N) in moss (response variables) were evaluated by the use of Random Forests (RF) and Classification and Regression Trees (CART). Four spatial scales were regarded: Europe as a whole, ecological land classes covering Europe, single countries participating in the European Moss Survey (EMS), and moss species at sampling sites. Spatial patterns were estimated by applying a series of RF models on data on potential predictors covering Europe. Statistical values and resulting maps were used to investigate to what extent the models are specific for countries, units of the Ecological Land Classification of Europe (ELCE), and moss species. Results Land use, atmospheric deposition and distance to technical emission sources mainly influence the element concentration in moss. The explanatory power of calculated RF models varies according to elements measured in moss specimens, country, ecological land class, and moss species. Measured and predicted medians of element concentrations agree fairly well while minima and maxima show considerable differences. The European maps derived from the RF models provide smoothed surfaces of element concentrations (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, N, Ni, Pb, Hg, V, Zn), each explained by a multivariate RF model and verified by CART, and thereby more information than the dot maps depicting the spatial patterns of measured values. Conclusions RF is an eligible method identifying and ranking boundary conditions of element concentrations in moss and related mapping including the influence of the environmental factors. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Schroder W.,University of Vechta | Holy M.,University of Vechta | Pesch R.,University of Vechta | Harmens H.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | And 30 more authors.
Journal of Soils and Sediments | Year: 2010

Purpose: This study aimed at investigating correlations between heavy metal concentrations in mosses and modelled deposition values as well as other site-specific and regional characteristics to determine which factors primarily affect cadmium, lead and mercury concentrations in mosses. The resulting relationships could potentially be used to enhance the spatial resolution of heavy metal deposition maps across Europe. Materials and methods: Modelled heavy metal deposition data and data on the concentration of heavy metals in naturally growing mosses were integrated into a geographic information system and analysed by means of bivariate rank correlation analysis and multivariate decision trees. Modelled deposition data were validated annually with deposition measurements at up to 63 EMEP measurement stations within the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP), and mosses were collected at up to 7,000 sites at 5-year intervals between 1990 and 2005. Results and discussion: Moderate to high correlations were found between cadmium and lead concentrations in mosses and modelled atmospheric deposition of these metals: Spearman rank correlation coefficients were between 0.62 and 0.67, and 0.67 and 0.73 for cadmium and lead, respectively (p<0.001). Multivariate decision tree analyses showed that cadmium and lead concentrations in mosses were primarily determined by the atmospheric deposition of these metals, followed by emissions of the metals. Low to very low correlations were observed between mercury concentrations in mosses and modelled atmospheric deposition of mercury. According to the multivariate analyses, spatial variations of the mercury concentration in mosses was primarily associated with the sampled moss species and not with the modelled deposition, but regional differences in the atmospheric chemistry of mercury and corresponding interactions with the moss may also be involved. Conclusions: At least for cadmium and lead, concentrations in mosses are a valuable tool in determining and mapping the spatial variation in atmospheric deposition across Europe at a high spatial resolution. For mercury, more studies are needed to elucidate interactions of different chemical species with the moss. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Schroder W.,University of Vechta | Holy M.,University of Vechta | Pesch R.,University of Vechta | Harmens H.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | And 18 more authors.
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2010

In this study, the indicative value of mosses as biomonitors of atmospheric nitrogen (N) depositions and air concentrations on the one hand and site-specific and regional factors which explain best the total N concentration in mosses on the other hand were investigated for the first time at a European scale using correlation analyses. The analyses included data from mosses collected from 2781 sites across Europe within the framework of the European moss survey 2005/6, which was coordinated by the International Cooperative Programme on Effects of Air Pollution on Natural Vegetation and Crops (ICP Vegetation). Modelled atmospheric N deposition and air concentration data were calculated using the Unified EMEP Model of the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP) of the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP). The modelled deposition and concentration data encompass various N compounds. In order to assess the correlations between moss tissue total N concentrations and the chosen predictors, Spearman rank correlation analysis and Classification and Regression Trees (CART) were applied. The Spearman rank correlation analysis showed that the total N concentration in mosses and modelled N depositions and air concentrations are significantly correlated (0.53 ≤ rs ≤ 0.68, p < 0.001). Correlations with other predictors were lower than 0.55. The CART analysis indicated that the variation in the total N concentration in mosses was best explained by the variation in NH4 + concentrations in air, followed by NO2 concentrations in air, sampled moss species and total dry N deposition. The total N concentrations in mosses mirror land use-related atmospheric concentrations and depositions of N across Europe. In addition to already proven associations to measured N deposition on a local scale the study at hand gives a scientific prove on the association of N concentration in mosses and modelled deposition at the European scale. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Harmens H.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Ilyin I.,Meteorological Synthesizing Center East of EMEP | Mills G.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Aboal J.R.,University of Santiago de Compostela | And 33 more authors.
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2012

Previous analyses at the European scale have shown that cadmium and lead concentrations in mosses are primarily determined by the total deposition of these metals. Further analyses in the current study show that Spearman rank correlations between the concentration in mosses and the deposition modelled by the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP) are country and metal-specific. Significant positive correlations were found for about two thirds or more of the participating countries in 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2005 (except for Cd in 1990). Correlations were often not significant and sometimes negative in countries where mosses were only sampled in a relatively small number of EMEP grids. Correlations frequently improved when only data for EMEP grids with at least three moss sampling sites per grid were included. It was concluded that spatial patterns and temporal trends agree reasonably well between lead and cadmium concentrations in mosses and modelled atmospheric deposition. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Harmens H.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Norris D.A.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Cooper D.M.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Mills G.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | And 23 more authors.
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2011

In 2005/6, nearly 3000 moss samples from (semi-)natural location across 16 European countries were collected for nitrogen analysis. The lowest total nitrogen concentrations in mosses (<0.8%) were observed in northern Finland and northern UK. The highest concentrations (≥1.6%) were found in parts of Belgium, France, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia and Bulgaria. The asymptotic relationship between the nitrogen concentrations in mosses and EMEP modelled nitrogen deposition (averaged per 50 km × 50 km grid) across Europe showed less scatter when there were at least five moss sampling sites per grid. Factors potentially contributing to the scatter are discussed. In Switzerland, a strong (r 2 = 0.91) linear relationship was found between the total nitrogen concentration in mosses and measured site-specific bulk nitrogen deposition rates. The total nitrogen concentrations in mosses complement deposition measurements, helping to identify areas in Europe at risk from high nitrogen deposition at a high spatial resolution. © 2010 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Schroder W.,University of Vechta | Nickel S.,University of Vechta | Schonrock S.,University of Vechta | Meyer M.,University of Vechta | And 32 more authors.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2016

For analysing element input into ecosystems and associated risks due to atmospheric deposition, element concentrations in moss provide complementary and time-integrated data at high spatial resolution every 5 years since 1990. The paper reviews (1) minimum sample sizes needed for reliable, statistical estimation of mean values at four different spatial scales (European and national level as well as landscape-specific level covering Europe and single countries); (2) trends of heavy metal (HM) and nitrogen (N) concentrations in moss in Europe (1990–2010); (3) correlations between concentrations of HM in moss and soil specimens collected across Norway (1990–2010); and (4) canopy drip-induced site-specific variation of N concentration in moss sampled in seven European countries (1990–2013). While the minimum sample sizes on the European and national level were achieved without exception, for some ecological land classes and elements, the coverage with sampling sites should be improved. The decline in emission and subsequent atmospheric deposition of HM across Europe has resulted in decreasing HM concentrations in moss between 1990 and 2010. In contrast, hardly any changes were observed for N in moss between 2005, when N was included into the survey for the first time, and 2010. In Norway, both, the moss and the soil survey data sets, were correlated, indicating a decrease of HM concentrations in moss and soil. At the site level, the average N deposition inside of forests was almost three times higher than the average N deposition outside of forests. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg


Harmens H.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Norris D.A.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Steinnes E.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Kubin E.,Finnish Forest Research Institute | And 30 more authors.
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2010

In recent decades, mosses have been used successfully as biomonitors of atmospheric deposition of heavy metals. Since 1990, the European moss survey has been repeated at five-yearly intervals. Although spatial patterns were metal-specific, in 2005 the lowest concentrations of metals in mosses were generally found in Scandinavia, the Baltic States and northern parts of the UK; the highest concentrations were generally found in Belgium and south-eastern Europe. The recent decline in emission and subsequent deposition of heavy metals across Europe has resulted in a decrease in the heavy metal concentration in mosses for the majority of metals. Since 1990, the concentration in mosses has declined the most for arsenic, cadmium, iron, lead and vanadium (52-72%), followed by copper, nickel and zinc (20-30%), with no significant reduction being observed for mercury (12% since 1995) and chromium (2%). However, temporal trends were country-specific with sometimes increases being found. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Harmens H.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Norris D.A.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Sharps K.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Mills G.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | And 31 more authors.
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2015

In recent decades, naturally growing mosses have been used successfully as biomonitors of atmospheric deposition of heavy metals and nitrogen. Since 1990, the European moss survey has been repeated at five-yearly intervals. In 2010, the lowest concentrations of metals and nitrogen in mosses were generally found in northern Europe, whereas the highest concentrations were observed in (south-)eastern Europe for metals and the central belt for nitrogen. Averaged across Europe, since 1990, the median concentration in mosses has declined the most for lead (77%), followed by vanadium (55%), cadmium (51%), chromium (43%), zinc (34%), nickel (33%), iron (27%), arsenic (21%, since 1995), mercury (14%, since 1995) and copper (11%). Between 2005 and 2010, the decline ranged from 6% for copper to 36% for lead; for nitrogen the decline was 5%. Despite the Europe-wide decline, no changes or increases have been observed between 2005 and 2010 in some (regions of) countries. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | University of Tirana, University of Galati, University Valahia of Targoviste, University of Vienna and 27 more.
Type: | Journal: Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) | Year: 2015

In recent decades, naturally growing mosses have been used successfully as biomonitors of atmospheric deposition of heavy metals and nitrogen. Since 1990, the European moss survey has been repeated at five-yearly intervals. In 2010, the lowest concentrations of metals and nitrogen in mosses were generally found in northern Europe, whereas the highest concentrations were observed in (south-)eastern Europe for metals and the central belt for nitrogen. Averaged across Europe, since 1990, the median concentration in mosses has declined the most for lead (77%), followed by vanadium (55%), cadmium (51%), chromium (43%), zinc (34%), nickel (33%), iron (27%), arsenic (21%, since 1995), mercury (14%, since 1995) and copper (11%). Between 2005 and 2010, the decline ranged from 6% for copper to 36% for lead; for nitrogen the decline was 5%. Despite the Europe-wide decline, no changes or increases have been observed between 2005 and 2010 in some (regions of) countries.


PubMed | University of Tirana, National Museum of Natural History, University Valahia of Targoviste, University of Vienna and 26 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Environmental science and pollution research international | Year: 2016

For analysing element input into ecosystems and associated risks due to atmospheric deposition, element concentrations in moss provide complementary and time-integrated data at high spatial resolution every 5years since 1990. The paper reviews (1) minimum sample sizes needed for reliable, statistical estimation of mean values at four different spatial scales (European and national level as well as landscape-specific level covering Europe and single countries); (2) trends of heavy metal (HM) and nitrogen (N) concentrations in moss in Europe (1990-2010); (3) correlations between concentrations of HM in moss and soil specimens collected across Norway (1990-2010); and (4) canopy drip-induced site-specific variation of N concentration in moss sampled in seven European countries (1990-2013). While the minimum sample sizes on the European and national level were achieved without exception, for some ecological land classes and elements, the coverage with sampling sites should be improved. The decline in emission and subsequent atmospheric deposition of HM across Europe has resulted in decreasing HM concentrations in moss between 1990 and 2010. In contrast, hardly any changes were observed for N in moss between 2005, when N was included into the survey for the first time, and 2010. In Norway, both, the moss and the soil survey data sets, were correlated, indicating a decrease of HM concentrations in moss and soil. At the site level, the average N deposition inside of forests was almost three times higher than the average N deposition outside of forests.

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