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Garcia-Gomez H.,CIEMAT | Garrido J.L.,CIEMAT | Vivanco M.G.,CIEMAT | Lassaletta L.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | And 7 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

The Mediterranean Basin presents an extraordinary biological richness but very little information is available on the threat that air pollution, and in particular reactive nitrogen (N), can pose to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. This study represents the first approach to assess the risk of N enrichment effects on Spanish ecosystems. The suitability of EMEP and CHIMERE air quality model systems as tools to identify those areas where effects of atmospheric N deposition could be occurring was tested. For this analysis, wet deposition of NO3- and NH4+ estimated with EMEP and CHIMERE model systems were compared with measured data for the period 2005-2008 obtained from different monitoring networks in Spain. Wet N deposition was acceptably predicted by both models, showing better results for oxidized than for reduced nitrogen, particularly when using CHIMERE. Both models estimated higher wet deposition values in northern and northeastern Spain, and decreasing along a NE-SW axis. Total (wet+dry) nitrogen deposition in 2008 reached maxima values of 19.4 and 23.0kgNha-1year-1 using EMEP and CHIMERE models respectively. Total N deposition was used to estimate the exceedance of N empirical critical loads in the Natura 2000 network. Grassland habitats proved to be the most threatened group, particularly in the northern alpine area, pointing out that biodiversity conservation in these protected areas could be endangered by N deposition. Other valuable mountain ecosystems can be also threatened, indicating the need to extend atmospheric deposition monitoring networks to higher altitudes in Spain. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Montalvo G.,S.L. C Santa Catalina | Morales J.,S.L. C Santa Catalina | Pineiro C.,S.L. C Santa Catalina | Godbout S.,IRDA | Bigeriego M.,Spanish Ministry of Agriculture
Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research | Year: 2013

The objective of this study was to assess the effects of different dietary strategies in post-weaned piglets on gas emissions and animal performance. Eighty piglets were allotted in ten environmentally-controlled chambers. Piglets were fed with five different isoenergetic diets: control, low protein (LP), inclusion of sugar beet pulp (SBP), addition of benzoic acid (BA) and a combination of LP, SBP and BA (LP + SBP + BA). The gases analyzed were ammonia (NH3), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). For NH3, the most effective treatment was LP, with a reduction of 61%. The LP + SBP + BA reduced NH3 emission by 51%, the inclusion of SBP by 43% and the least effective technique was BA, which decreased by 9.5%, compared to control. The CH4 emission was reduced by 30% for LP, but was increased by 23% for SBP and 24.6% for LP + SBP + BA. Benzoic acid did not differ from control group. The N2O emission did not show statistically differences, and CO2 and carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq) emission increased with LP + SBP + BA (14 and 15% respectively), but were not affected by other diets. No effect of dietary treatment was observed on the growth performances compared with control group (p > 0.05). We can conclude that the best technique to reduce NH3 emission was LP. Inclusion of SBP decreases NH3 emission, but can increase greenhouse gas emissions. It would be interesting to evaluate the effect of higher percentages of BA because the promising results. Combining techniques is not a good strategy to obtain an additive effect in gas emissions reduction.

Querol X.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Alastuey A.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Pandolfi M.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Reche C.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | And 8 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

This study aims at interpreting the 2001-2012 trends of major air pollutants in Spain, with a major focus on evaluating their relationship with those of the national emission inventories (NEI) and policy actions. Marked downward concentration trends were evidenced for PM10, PM2.5 and CO. Concentrations of NO2 and NOx also declined but in a lesser proportion at rural and traffic sites. At rural sites O3 has been kept constant, whereas it clearly increased at urban and industrial sites. Comparison of the air quality trends and major inflection points with those from NEIs, the National Energy Consumption and the calendar of the implementation of major policy actions allowed us to clearly identify major benefits of European directives on power generation and industrial sources (such as the Large Combustion Plants and the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directives). This, together with a sharp 2007-2008 decrease of coal consumption has probably caused the marked parallel decline of SO2, NOx and for PM2.5 concentrations. Also the effect of the EURO 4 and 5 vehicle emission standards on decreasing emissions of PM and CO from vehicles is noticeable. The smooth decline in NO2-NOx levels is mostly attributed to the low efficiency of EURO 4 and 5 standards in reducing real life urban driving NO2 emissions. The low NOx decrease together with the complexity of the reactions of O3 formation is responsible for the constant O3 concentrations, or even the urban increase. The financial crisis has also contributed to the decrease of the ambient concentration of pollutants; however this caused a major reduction of the primary energy consumption from 2008 to 2009, and not from 2007 to 2008 when ambient air PM and SO2 sharply decreased. The meteorological influence was characterized by a 2008-2012 period favorable to the dispersion of pollutants when compared to the 2001-2007. © 2014.

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