Senckenberg Publications

Ines Flügel & Thomas Scheuschner


Ines Flügel Sächsisches Landesamt für Umwelt, Landwirtschaft und Geologie,
Pillnitzer Platz 3, 01326 Dresden Pillnitz, Germany
(jetzt: Landesdirektion Sachsen, Abteilung Umweltschutz,
Braustraße 2, 04107 Leipzig, Germany)

Thomas Scheuschner ÖKO-DATA, Gesellschaft für Ökosystemanalyse und Umweltdatenmanagement mbH,
Hegermühlenstraße 58, 15344 Strausberg, Germany



Einfluss von Luftschadstoffen und Klimawandel auf die Gefährdung von Ökosystemen im polnisch-sächsischen Grenzraum


Impact of air pullutants and climate change on ecosystems in the
Polish-Saxon border region
The condition of ecosystems in the Polish-Saxon border region has been analyzed. A trend analysis of the last 40 years´ climate has been made. Additionally, a future climate projection up to the year 2100 was performed, considering 5 different climate scenarios. The background database includes data from weather stations located in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. Besides this, the emission data of different air pollutants (oxidized nitrogen and sulphur and ammonia) have been researched. The FRAME model was used to compute the changed transport of air pollutants with respect to changed climate conditions (KRYZA et al. 2013).
The Critical Load for acidification and eutrophication were calculated using the results of the climate analysis and the air pollutant analysis, also considering the 5 climate scenarios. Furthermore, the exceedance of Critical Load of ecosystems were calculated.
The analysis of these results shows a predominantly increased sensitivity of ecosystems concerning eutrophication due to climate changes. The effect concerning acidification is less pronounced. Big differences in the trends of acidification and eutrophication were detected. Less ecosystems have been threatened by acidification in the past , which can also be expected for the future. In contrast, the eutrophication caused by deposition of nitrogen is a growing threat to the ecosystems. Although the situation of immissions is improving, the positive effects due to less emissions of nitrogen will in parts be compensated by climate effects. Here, increasing eutrophication has to be expected in all climate scenarios which were considered.
Regarding the exceedance of Critical Load for the outlook up to the year 2030, an increased risk of eutrophication must still be expected – nearly 40 % of the ecosystems stay exposed to this threat. In contrast, regarding the risk of acidification the Situation between 2000 and 2010 has already amended and until 2030 it can be expected that this trend will continue. Following this, the Critical Load for the protection against acidification is nearly everywhere met.
Generally, the risk for acidification is high in several spots of the Polish and German lowlands and in central regions of the Giant Mountains.
The sensitivity to eutrophication is strongly related to climate conditions. Therefore the mountainous region with high precipitation and a high percolation water rate is relatively insensitive to eutrophic pollutants while the low lands are generally more sensitive. An analysis of ecosystem types shows that coniferous forests are slightly more sensitive to eutrophication than deciduous and mixed forests. Concerning non forest ecosystem types the heathland shows lower sensitivities than peat bogs and fens.
The main conclusion is that basically both, the immission situation of the regarded air pollutants and climate effects have essential impact on the ecosystems.


critical load | ecosystem | eutrophication | acidification | climate change