30 Jun '14, 1pm

Air pollution still harming Europe's ecosystems, despite reduced emissions

Air pollution still harming Europe's ecosystems, despite reduced emissions

'Effects of air pollution on European ecosystems ' assesses the proportion of European ecosystems exposed to nitrogen and sulphur-containing pollutants above sustainable levels. When pollutants exceed these levels they can harm plants and animals. In the 1970s, many European governments became increasingly concerned about acid rain, which was damaging forests and killing fish such as the brown trout and Atlantic salmon. The report shows that acidification has been greatly reduced since its peak in 1980 when almost half of the sensitive ecosystem area in the 28 EU Member States was affected. This has been reduced to around 5 % of ecosystems today, the report finds. Air pollution also contributes to eutrophication, an oversupply of nitrogen. This can change ecosystems, for example creating conditions more favourable to certain plants, thus reducing the 'species richness' in ...

Full article: http://www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/air-pollution-still-h...

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