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Lizuma L.,University of Latvia | Lizuma L.,Geology and Meteorology Agency | Briede A.,University of Latvia | Klavins M.,University of Latvia
Hydrology Research | Year: 2010

This study investigated long-term variability and trends in Latvia's annual, seasonal, monthly and daily precipitation using data from 10 meteorological stations for the period 1925-2006 and from station Riga University for the period 1850-2006. The obtained results indicate that during the 20th century a significant increase in precipitation has occurred in the cold season while the warm period showed a decreasing tendency. The annual precipitation totals showed a slight decrease, at half of the studied stations, due to opposite tendencies in cold season and warm season. The long-term trend in the annual precipitation in Riga (from 1850) was positive with large interannual and interdecadal variability. The extreme precipitation events were evaluated using a set of nine climate change indices. Of these, number of wet days, 1-day and 5-days maximum precipitation, moderate wet days and very wet days showed a well pronounced positive tendency In the cold period of the year particularly in winter. No overall long-term trend was detected in extreme precipitation in summer. As in the case of 150-year precipitation pattern, extreme precipitation exhibited cyclic fluctuations that were more pronounced than linear changes. The close correlation between North Atlantic oscillation (NAO) and extreme precipitation was found for winter season. © IWA Publishing 2010.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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