Ammonia emissions from livestock production can have negative impacts on nearby protected sites and ecosystems that are sensitive to eutrophication and acidification. Trees are effective scavengers of both gaseous and particulate pollutants from the atmosphere making tree belts potentially effective landscape features to support strategies aiming to reduce ammonia impacts. This research used the MODDAS-THETIS a coupled turbulence and deposition turbulence model, to examine the relationships between tree canopy structure and ammonia capture for three source types—animal housing, slurry lagoon, and livestock under a tree canopy. By altering the canopy length, leaf area index, leaf area density, and height of the canopy in the model the capture efficiencies varied substantially. A maximum of 27% of the emitted ammonia was captured by tree canopy for the animal housing source, for the slurry lagoon the maximum was 19%, while the livestock under trees attained a maximum of 60% recapture. Using agro-forestry systems of differing tree structures near 'hot spots' of ammonia in the landscape could provide an effective abatement option for the livestock industry that complements existing source reduction measures.
Year of Publication:
Environmental Research Letters