Articles | Volume 9, issue 11
Research article
09 Nov 2012
Research article |  | 09 Nov 2012

Organic nitrogen in precipitation across Europe

J. N. Cape, Y. S. Tang, J. M. González-Beníez, M. Mitošinková, U. Makkonen, M. Jocher, and A. Stolk

Abstract. Measurements of total nitrogen and inorganic nitrogen in precipitation samples from NitroEurope sites across Europe permit the calculation of organic nitrogen concentrations and wet deposition, by difference. The contribution of organic N to total N in precipitation ranged from only a few % to around 40% across 18 sites from northern Finland to Italy, similar to results from previous individual studies. This paper presents the absolute and relative contributions of organic N to wet N deposition across Europe, and examines seasonal trends. There were only weak correlations with other solutes in precipitation. These simple statistics indicate that sources of organic N in precipitation vary across Europe, and that no single source is responsible. The organic N contributes to total N deposition, yet this input is rarely quantified in nitrogen budgets.

Final-revised paper