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Forests 2017, 8(6), 219; doi:10.3390/f8060219

Is Biomass Accumulation in Forests an Option to Prevent Climate Change Induced Increases in Nitrate Concentrations in the North German Lowland?

1
Thuenen Institute for Forest Ecosystems, 16225 Eberswalde, Germany
2
Northwest German Forest Research Institute, 37079 Göttingen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Timothy A. Martin
Received: 2 May 2017 / Revised: 15 June 2017 / Accepted: 16 June 2017 / Published: 21 June 2017
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Abstract

The North German Lowland is a region with locally high nitrate (NO3) concentrations in seepage water, inducing an increased susceptibility to the effects of climate change. The future risk of rising NO3 concentrations in seepage water from forests was quantified for four regions in the North German Lowland using climate projections and a modelling system comprising submodels for forest stand development (WaldPlaner), water budgets (WaSiM-ETH), and biogeochemical element cycles (VSD+). The simulations for the period from 1990 to 2070 included three different forest management scenarios (reference, biodiversity, and climate protection) and showed a general decrease in groundwater recharge which could hardly be influenced by any of the management options. The simulated soil organic matter stocks adequately represented their past increase as expected from the National Forest Soil Inventory (NFSI), but also showed a future decline under climate change conditions which leads to higher organic matter decomposition and a long-lasting increase of NO3 leaching from forest soils. While the climate protection oriented scenario shows the highest increase in NO3 concentrations during the projection period until 2070, the biodiversity scenario kept NO3 concentrations in seepage water below the legal thresholds in three of four selected model regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitrate; groundwater recharge; climate change; soil organic matter; standing volume; WaSiM-ETH; VSD+; Roth-C; YASSO07 nitrate; groundwater recharge; climate change; soil organic matter; standing volume; WaSiM-ETH; VSD+; Roth-C; YASSO07
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Fleck, S.; Ahrends, B.; Sutmöller, J.; Albert, M.; Evers, J.; Meesenburg, H. Is Biomass Accumulation in Forests an Option to Prevent Climate Change Induced Increases in Nitrate Concentrations in the North German Lowland? Forests 2017, 8, 219.

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