Articles | Volume 9, issue 11
Research article
16 Nov 2012
Research article |  | 16 Nov 2012

Estimating nitrogen fluxes at the European scale by upscaling INTEGRATOR model outputs from selected sites

G. J. Reinds, G. B. M. Heuvelink, T. Hoogland, J. Kros, and W. de Vries

Abstract. A comparison was made between upscaled model results of nitrogen (N) fluxes to air and water from 450 sites within the EU-27 and results derived for the entire EU-27 area using the model INTEGRATOR. The 450 sites were selected using stratified random sampling, dividing the EU-27 into 150 strata and selecting three sites at random within each stratum. The strata were based on important environmental factors influencing N fluxes. Hierarchical divisive cluster analysis was used to reduce the numerous combinations of environmental factors to the required total of 150, such that the heterogeneity of environmental factors within strata was as small as possible. Modelled NH3, N2O and NOx emissions and N leaching/runoff obtained were scaled up from the 450 sites to the entire EU-27 and were within 10% of results obtained by running the model for the whole of the EU-27 using about 36 500 sites. This implies that a reliable estimate of N fluxes for EU-27 can be made by upscaling results of the 450 selected sites suggesting that dramatic reduction in computation time can be achieved without substantial deterioration of results

Final-revised paper