Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Atmospheric organic nitrogen deposition explored at workshop



Atmospheric organic nitrogen (AON) is an important nitrogen component with significant deposition in many natural waters. The range and quality of the data are varied, but deposited organic nitrogen (DON) is ubiquitous globally, both in extent and magnitude.

The Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) sponsored a workshop last year to determine what is known about organic nitrogen in atmospheric deposition and to establish research priorities needed to obtain an adequate database for coastal waters such as Chesapeake Bay Working groups at the meeting concluded that AON represents a poorly quantified array of broadly reactive natural and pollutant species; that because of compromises in collection, preservation, and analysis, wet deposition of total organic nitrogen is inadequately quantified and dry deposition is not quantified at all; and that because of a lack of data on bioactive species, the effect of AON and DON on ecosystems is largely unknown.