N deposition as a threat to the World's protected areas under the Convention on Biological Diversity

A. Bleeker, J.W. Erisman, W.K. Hicks, F. Dentener, J. Galloway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper combines the world's protected areas (PAs) under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), common classification systems of ecosystem conservation status, and current knowledge on ecosystem responses to nitrogen (N) deposition to determine areas most at risk. The results show that 40% (approx. 11% of total area) of PAs currently receive >10 kg N/ha/yr with projections for 2030 indicating that this situation is not expected to change. Furthermore, 950 PAs are projected to receive >30 kg N/ha/yr by 2030 (approx. twice the 2000 number), of which 62 (approx. 11,300 km ) are also Biodiversity Hotspots and G200 ecoregions; with forest and grassland ecosystems in Asia particularly at risk. Many of these sites are known to be sensitive to N deposition effects, both in terms of biodiversity changes and ecosystem services they provide. Urgent assessment of high risk areas identified in this study is recommended to inform the conservation efforts of the CBD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2280-2288
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011

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