Report 426
Detecting and attributing air pollution impacts during SSSI condition assessment
(2009)
Stevens, C.J., Caporn, S.J.M., Maskell, L.C., Smart, S.M., Dise, N.B & Gowing, D.J
The most recent assessments of the effects of air pollution on semi-natural habitats in the UK, using critical loads, show that a substantial area is at risk from either acidification or eutrophication. The conservation agencies’ monitoring of SSSI condition is based on Common Standard Monitoring (CSM) guidance http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-2219. CSM provides a basic framework to ensure consistent monitoring in the UK.

Summary

 
 
A number of habitats have been identified as both sensitive and vulnerable to acid deposition, including heathland, bog and grassland habitats. This report will focus on:

 

• acid grassland (lowland dry acid grassland, upland acid grassland);

• bogs (raised bogs, lowland blanket bog, blanket bog and valley mire);

• heathland (lowland heathland, subalpine dry dwarf-shrub heath, wet heath);

• woodlands

 

These habitats are amongst the most sensitive and vulnerable to nitrogen (N) deposition. They are also widespread habitats that occur in many SSSIs.

 

Across the investigated habitats, few of the existing CSM site condition indicator species were suitable for determining the impact of N deposition on a site. More evidence is needed on the impacts of N deposition on individual species.

 

 

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ISSN 0963 8901
 
Please cite as: Stevens, C.J., Caporn, S.J.M., Maskell, L.C., Smart, S.M., Dise, N.B & Gowing, D.J, (2009), Detecting and attributing air pollution impacts during SSSI condition assessment, JNCC Report 426, ISSN 0963 8901