Ammonia emissions from a broiler farm: spatial variability of airborne concentrations in the vicinity and impact on adjacent woodland
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- von Bobrutzki, K., Ammon, C., Berg, W. et al. Environ Monit Assess (2012) 184: 3775. doi:10.1007/s10661-011-2223-3
Agricultural NH3 emissions affect air quality and influence the nitrogen cycle. In the subject study, NH3 emissions from a broiler farm and the resulting atmospheric concentrations in the immediate vicinity during three growing cycles have been quantified. Additionally, vegetation along a transect in an adjacent woodland was analysed. The emissions were as high as 10 kg NH3 h−1 and the atmospheric concentrations ranged between 33 and 124 μg NH3 m−3 per week in the immediate vicinity. Measurements of the atmospheric concentrations over 7 weeks showed a substantial decline of mean concentrations (based on a 3-week average) from ∼13 to <3 μg NH3 m−3, at 45- and 415-m distance from the farm. Vegetation surveys showed that nitrophilous species flourished when they grew closest to the farm (their occurrence sank proportionately with distance). A clearly visible damage of pine trees was observed within 200 m of the farm; this illustrated the significant impact of NH3 emissions from agricultural sources on the sensitive ecosystem.