Calculation of Critical Loads of Acidity at Bavarian-Czech Border Area

Jan Haberle1, Thorsten Scheel2, Eva Kunzová1
1 Crop Research Institute, Praha
2 Bayerisches Landesamt für Umwelt, Hof

P 13.1 in Czech-German exchange on environmental-, soil- and hydro(geo)logical issues

The contribution presents calculations and mapping of “critical loads” for forest soils in Bavarian-Czech border area. The underlying rock of the Bavarian-Czech border area is of acidic crystalline origin. Acidic soil designated for forestry is typical in the area. The acidification process is further promoted by atmospheric acidic deposition, which has a large impact on the buffering capacity of the soil. A critical load (CL) is defined as the highest dose of a contaminant that does not yet cause chemical changes with long-lasting harmful effects on the most sensitive environmental systems. The main idea behind the CL calculation is a simple mass balance. Acidifying compounds like sulfur and nitrogen are compared to basic compounds like cations. Therefore, many different input parameters are needed, like deposition data (e.g. nitrogen, basic cations, sulfur), plant uptake (e.g. nitrogen, basic cations), weathering (basic cations) and leaching (basic cations). All these parameters need to be available for the whole investigation area so that by complex mathematical equations the mass balance and as a consequence the CL can be calculated. The determination of CL is focused on protecting the environment against the effects of acidic atmospheric depositions and on quantifying the required reduction in emissions of acid-forming compounds into the air. The neutralising capacity of the soil is of primary importance in this calculation and its determination for forest soils was one of the main objectives and tasks of the Czech-Bavarian project "The consequences of acidification on soil and water resources".

Acknowlegement: The contribution was supported by project No.75, European Regional Development Fund "Investing in your future" and by Research Plan of CRI  0002700604. 




Scheel, T., Haberle, J. (2012):  Auswirkungen der Versauerung auf Böden und Gewässer. Critical Loads – grenzübergreifende Karten (Důsledky okyselení na půdu a vodní zdroje. Kritické zátěže a přeshraniční mapy). Výzkumný ústav rostlinné výroby, v.v.i., Praha – Ruzyně. ISBN: 978-80-7427-111-3. 34 s. 

Haberle, J. (2011). Critical loads - Data, problems, critical points, cross-border maps. Workshop Czech-Bavaria project: Effects of acidification on the soil and water sources, 14-15.12.2012, Plzeň.

ICP Mapping Manual – International Cooperative Programme on Modelling and Mapping Critical Loads and Levels (2004): Manual on Methodologies and Criteria for Modelling and Mapping Critical Loads & Levels and Air Pollution Effects, Risks and Trends  - www.icpmapping.org.

Letzte Änderung 31.10.2013