Water, Air, & Soil Pollution: Focus

, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp 207-218

First online:

Quantifying dry NH3 deposition to an ombrotrophic bog from an automated NH3 field release system

  • Ian D. LeithAffiliated withCEH Edinburgh Email author 
  • , Lucy J. SheppardAffiliated withCEH Edinburgh
  • , David FowlerAffiliated withCEH Edinburgh
  • , J. Neil CapeAffiliated withCEH Edinburgh
  • , Matt JonesAffiliated withCEH Edinburgh
  • , Alan CrossleyAffiliated withCEH Edinburgh
  • , Ken J. HargreavesAffiliated withCEH Edinburgh
  • , Y. Sim TangAffiliated withCEH Edinburgh
  • , Mark TheobaldAffiliated withCEH Edinburgh
    • , Mark R. SuttonAffiliated withCEH Edinburgh

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Providing an accurate estimate of the dry component of N deposition to low N background, semi-natural habitats, such as bogs and upland moors dominated by Calluna vulgaris is difficult, but essential to relate nitrogen deposition to effects in these communities. To quantify the effects of NH3 inputs to moorland vegetation growing on a bog at a field scale, a field release NH3 fumigation system was established at Whim Moss (Scottish Borders) in 2002. Gaseous NH3 from a line source was released along of a 60 m transect, when meteorological conditions (wind speed >2.5 m s−1 and wind direction in the sector 180–215°) were met, thereby providing a profile of decreasing NH3 concentration with distance from the source. In a complementary study, using a NH3 flux chamber system, the relationships between NH3 concentrations and cuticular resistances were quantified for a range of NH3 concentrations and micrometeorological conditions for moorland vegetation. Cuticular resistances increased with NH3 concentration from 11 s m−1 at 3.0 µg m−3 to 30 s m−1 at 30 µg m−3. The NH3 concentration data and the concentration-dependent canopy resistance are used to calculate NH3 deposition taking into account leaf surface wetness. The implications of using an NH3 concentration-dependent cuticular resistance and the importance for refining critical loads are discussed.


ammonia bog concentration cuticular resistance field release nitrogen wet and dry deposition