National Focal Centre of the UNECE International Cooperative Programme on the Effects of Air Pollutants on Vegetation (ICP Vegetation)
The ICP Vegetation was established in the late 1980s under the United Nation Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP).The ICP Vegetation is an international research programme investigating the impacts of air pollutants on crops and (semi-)natural vegetation. The Thünen Institute of Biodiversity contributes to the programme and co-ordinates the German activities as a National Focal Centre.
The programme focuses on the following air pollution problems: impacts of ozone pollution on vegetation and the atmospheric deposition of heavy metals and nitrogen to vegetation. In addition, the ICP Vegetation is taking into consideration impacts of pollutant mixtures (e.g. ozone and nitrogen), consequences for biodiversity and the modifying influence of climate change on the impacts of air pollutants on vegetation. The results of studies conducted by the ICP Vegetation are used in assessments of the current, and predictions of the future, state of the environment.
Co-ordinated experiments to determine the effects of ozone, heavy metals and N deposition on crops and non-wood vegetation in Europe in order to develop critical levels for air pollutants. Validation of the critical levels. Contribution to Thematic reports e.g. on the impact of ozone pollution on food security, on ecosystem services and biodiversity.
There is continuing evidence that ambient levels of ozone significantly reduce the biomass of sensitive species at several sites in Europe. Several important crops and species of the natural vegation develop ozone injury. The currently established critical level for ozone for crops and semi-natural vegetation is regularly exceeded in many parts of Europe.
Permanent task 1.2001 - 12.2022
Project status: ongoing