• Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems.

      Dirnböck, Thomas; Djukic, Ika; Kitzler, Barbara; Kobler, Johannes; Mol-Dijkstra, Janet P; Posch, Max; Reinds, Gert Jan; Schlutow, Angela; Starlinger, Franz; Wamelink, Wieger G W (2017)
      Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N) are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses) in the species potential distribution, but also N driven nutrient enrichment may threaten these habitats. We applied a dynamic geochemical soil model (VSD+) together with a novel niche-based plant response model (PROPS) to 5 forest habitat types (18 forest sites) protected under the EU Directive in Austria. We assessed how future climate change and N deposition might affect habitat suitability, defined as the capacity of a site to host its typical plant species. Our evaluation indicates that climate change will be the main driver of a decrease in habitat suitability in the future in Austria. The expected climate change will increase the occurrence of thermophilic plant species while decreasing cold-tolerant species. In addition to these direct impacts, climate change scenarios caused an increase of the occurrence probability of oligotrophic species due to a higher N immobilisation in woody biomass leading to soil N depletion. As a consequence, climate change did offset eutrophication from N deposition, even when no further reduction in N emissions was assumed. Our results show that climate change may have positive side-effects in forest habitats when multiple drivers of change are considered.
    • Comparison of Ultrafine Particle and Black Carbon Concentration Predictions from a Mobile and Short-Term Stationary Land-Use Regression Model.

      Kerckhoffs, Jules; Hoek, Gerard; Messier, Kyle P; Brunekreef, Bert; Meliefste, Kees; Klompmaker, Jochem O; Vermeulen, Roel (2016-12-06)
      Mobile and short-term monitoring campaigns are increasingly used to develop land-use regression (LUR) models for ultrafine particles (UFP) and black carbon (BC). It is not yet established whether LUR models based on mobile or short-term stationary measurements result in comparable models and concentration predictions. The goal of this paper is to compare LUR models based on stationary (30 min) and mobile UFP and BC measurements from a single campaign. An electric car collected both repeated stationary and mobile measurements in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, The Netherlands. A total of 2964 road segments and 161 stationary sites were sampled over two seasons. Our main comparison was based on predicted concentrations of the mobile and stationary monitoring LUR models at 12 682 residential addresses in Amsterdam. Predictor variables in the mobile and stationary LUR model were comparable, resulting in highly correlated predictions at external residential addresses (R2 of 0.89 for UFP and 0.88 for BC). Mobile model predictions were, on average, 1.41 and 1.91 times higher than stationary model predictions for UFP and BC, respectively. LUR models based upon mobile and stationary monitoring predicted highly correlated UFP and BC concentration surfaces, but predicted concentrations based on mobile measurements were systematically higher.
    • Importance of exposure dynamics of metal-based nano-ZnO, -Cu and -Pb governing the metabolic potential of soil bacterial communities.

      Zhai, Yujia; Hunting, Ellard R; Wouterse, Marja; Peijnenburg, Willie J G M; Vijver, Martina G (2017-11)
      Metal-based engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are known to affect bacterial processes and metabolic activities. While testing their negative effects on biological components, studies traditionally rely on initial exposure concentrations and thereby do not take into consideration the dynamic behavior of ENMs that ultimately determines exposure and toxicity (e.g. ion release). Moreover, functional responses of soil microbial communities to ENMs exposure can be caused by both the particulate forms and the ionic forms, yet their relative contributions remain poorly understood. Therefore, we investigated the dynamic changes of exposure concentrations of three different types of ENMs (nano-ZnO, -Cu and -Pb) and submicron particles (SMPs) in relation to their impact on the capacity of soil bacterial communities to utilize carbon substrates. The different ENMs were chosen to differ in dissolution potential. The dynamic exposures of ENMs were considered using a time weighted average (TWA) approach. The joint toxicity of the particulate forms and the ionic forms of ENMs was evaluated using a response addition model. Our results showed that the effect concentrations of spherical nano-ZnO, -Cu and SMPs, and Pb-based perovskites expressed as TWA were lower than expressed as initial concentrations. Both particulate forms and ionic forms of spherical 18nm, 43nm nano-ZnO and 50nm, 100nm nano-Cu contribute to the overall response at the EC50 levels. The particulate forms for 150nm, 200nm and 900nm ZnO SMPs and rod-shaped 78nm nano-Cu mainly affected the soil microbial metabolic potential, while the Cu ions released from spherical 25nm nano-Cu, 500nm Cu SMPs and Pb ions released from perovskites mainly described the effects to bacterial communities. Our results indicate that the dynamic exposure of ENMs and relative contributions of particles and ions require consideration in order to pursue a naturally realistic assessment of environmental risks of metal-based ENMs.