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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic
Volume 9, issue 11
Biogeosciences, 9, 4401–4409, 2012
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-9-4401-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: Nitrogen and global change

Biogeosciences, 9, 4401–4409, 2012
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-9-4401-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 09 Nov 2012

Research article | 09 Nov 2012

Organic nitrogen in precipitation across Europe

J. N. Cape1, Y. S. Tang1, J. M. González-Beníez1,2, M. Mitošinková3, U. Makkonen4, M. Jocher5, and A. Stolk6 J. N. Cape et al.
  • 1Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Edinburgh, EH26 0QB, UK
  • 2School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, EH9 3JJ, UK
  • 3Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute, 833 15 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
  • 4Finnish Meteorological Institute, 00560 Helsinki, Finland
  • 5Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART, 8046 Zürich, Switzerland
  • 6National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands

Abstract. Measurements of total nitrogen and inorganic nitrogen in precipitation samples from NitroEurope sites across Europe permit the calculation of organic nitrogen concentrations and wet deposition, by difference. The contribution of organic N to total N in precipitation ranged from only a few % to around 40% across 18 sites from northern Finland to Italy, similar to results from previous individual studies. This paper presents the absolute and relative contributions of organic N to wet N deposition across Europe, and examines seasonal trends. There were only weak correlations with other solutes in precipitation. These simple statistics indicate that sources of organic N in precipitation vary across Europe, and that no single source is responsible. The organic N contributes to total N deposition, yet this input is rarely quantified in nitrogen budgets.

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