Euro-limpacs Deliverables

ABSTRACT - DELIVERABLE 17

Analysis of wetland data from EI-NICOLAS (delayed Deliverable 16)

The data analysed in this task were collected in the European Union funded project NItrogen COntrol by LAndscape Structures in agricultural environments (NICOLAS ENV4−CT97−0395). This FP−4 project started in 1998. The overall aim of NICOLAS was to evaluate the natural performance of riparian zones as sustainable buffers of waterborne fluxes of diffuse agricultural nitrogen pollution of aquatic environments. The data re−analysis described here was conducted for Euro−limpacs within the framework of the WP3 Task 1 with the objective “to disentangle the climatic from the nutrient effects along a longitudinal gradient” (Euro−limpacs description of work Annex 1). The hypothesis is that increased temperature enhances the severity of eutrophication problems to a greater extent than that expected from natural fluctuations in climate. NICOLAS data collected from different longitudinal zones are used as space−for−time data. More specifically the following research questions will be addressed using these data:

i) What is the effect of key climatic variables (mean temperature, annual precipitation and Potential Evapotranspiration (PET)) on riparian plant production?
ii) Can different biomass production rates be explained by differences in nutrient loading rates?
iii)Are biomass responses to nutrient loading enhanced with higher temperature?

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