Combined effect of atmospheric nitrogen deposition and climate change on temperate forest soil biogeochemistry: A modeling approach

Noémie Gaudio*, Salim Belyazid, Xavier Gendre, Arnaud Mansat, Manuel Nicolas, Simon Rizzetto, Harald Sverdrup, Anne Probst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Atmospheric N deposition is known to severely impact forest ecosystem functioning by influencing soil biogeochemistry and nutrient balance, and consequently tree growth and overall forest health and biodiversity. Moreover, because climate greatly influences soil processes, climate change and atmospheric N deposition must both be taken into account when analysing the evolution of forest ecosystem status over time.Dynamic biogeochemical models have been developed to test different climate and atmospheric N deposition scenarios and their potential interactions in the long term. In this study, the ForSAFE model was used to predict the combined effect of atmospheric N deposition and climate change on two temperate forest ecosystems in France dominated by oak and spruce, and more precisely on forest soil biogeochemistry, from today to 2100. After a calibration step and following a careful statistical validation process, two atmospheric N deposition scenarios were tested: the current legislation in Europe (CLE) and the maximum feasible reduction (MFR) scenarios. They were combined with three climate scenarios: current climate scenario, worst-case climate scenario (A2) and best-case climate scenario (B1). The changes in base saturation and inorganic N concentration in the soil solution were compared across all scenario combinations, with the aim of forecasting the state of acidification, eutrophication and forest ecosystem recovery up to the year 2100.Simulations highlighted that climate had a stronger impact on soil base saturation, whereas atmospheric deposition had a comparative effect or a higher effect than climate on N concentration in the soil solution. Although deposition remains the main factor determining the evolution of N concentration in soil solution, increased temperature had a significant effect. Results also highlighted the necessity of considering the joint effect of both climate and atmospheric N deposition on soil biogeochemistry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-34
Number of pages11
JournalEcological Modelling
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier B.V..

Other keywords

  • Atmospheric N deposition
  • Climate change
  • Forest soil biogeochemistry
  • ForSAFE model
  • Soil base saturation
  • Soil nitrogen


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