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The MC of NinE agreed on the following 7 objectives for the NinE programme:


To develop the underpinning science that links different forms of nitrogen. Hence detailed studies on a single nitrogen pollutant are not the first priority. Instead, the priority is for studies examining the interchange and relationships between different nitrogen pollutants as nitrogen cascades through the environment.


To develop the science linking nitrogen interactions between environmental compartments. Coupled to the above is the need for studies that link nitrogen emissions, transformations and impacts between soils, plants, air and water, and between different contexts, urban-rural, aquatic-marine, biosphere-troposhere-stratosphere, etc.


To establish approaches at a range of scales, from physiological scale, patch scale, landscapes (e.g. 25 km2), regional watersheds (e.g. 10000 km2) to regions of Europe and the whole continent. Each of the scales is relevant, but the larger scales that allow explicit assessment of the nitrogen cascade are particularly relevant (landscapes to continental).


To refine methodologies for relating information between different spatial and temporal scales. It is a major scientific challenge to carry information developed at finer scales to larger scale models, while also posing a challenge for the different science communities to interact successfully.


To apply the analyses of NinE in selected case studies across Europe. These may include contrasting case-study landscapes, major watersheds and larger contrasting regions of Europe, including the comparison between source and sink areas for nitrogen.


To establish a meta-database of nitrogen research activities and assessments that integrate different nitrogen forms, interactions and scales. Such a meta-database would take the widest possible scope, including process analyses and case studies, providing access to both datasets and reports.


To prepare a major assessment report of covering the interlinked problems of Nitrogen in Europe. The assessment report would be informed by the results scientific activity of NinE and draw extensively on the NinE meta-database.