Uncertainties in the assessment of critical loads for acidic deposition are caused by the choice of biological indicators (BI), critical chemical values (CCV), the current methods used to determine critical loads for an ecosystem, and deficient field data. This paper focuses on the present steady-state mass balance (SSMB) approach, dynamic models and the importance of changes in atmospheric base-cation deposition (BCD), particularly in China. It is argued that 1) for the SSMB approach much uncertainty may come from the choice of BI and the related CCV, and long-term and large-scale monitoring data on weathering rates and growth uptake are urgently needed, especially in China, 2) significant uncertainty may be caused by changes in BCD during SO2 emission controls, particularly in China, 3) constructing a mechanistic Al submodel may be a promising direction for dynamic models, and 4) the nutrient cycle in the vegetation through biogeochemical processes should be incorporated into dynamic models but the input requirements should be moderate for broad application considerations. Generally higher BCD, different soil components and characteristics and different vegetation types in China compared to Europe and North America suggest that more field investigations on BI and their corresponding CCV be carried out before application of current approaches to specific areas, particularly in China.
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- A Literature Review of Uncertainties in Studies of Critical Loads for Acidic Deposition
- Springer Netherlands