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Air Pollution & Ecology Consultancy

Phlorum has in-house experts who are qualified and experienced in providing both ecological and air quality impact assessments, with some staff being members of both the Institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM) and the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM). We are therefore uniquely qualified to advise our clients on the effects of air pollution on ecology.

Combining our skill sets across these and other environmental topic areas allows us to provide our clients with the most efficient and effective advice to meet the needs of regulators, local authorities and themselves.

The Impact Of Air Pollution On Ecology

The main impact on ecology from air pollution is the effect of deposited nitrogen compounds that can upset the delicate chemical balance of the soil. Particular types of habitat can be very sensitive to changes in pH and nutrient loads which can be unbalanced by deposits from air pollution. This can result in some plant species taking advantage of such changes to out-compete and dominate more nutrient-sensitive species. This reduces the diversity of the vegetation which can have a knock on effect reducing the insects, fungi and other organisms that feed on them, which can continue up the food chain, making the habitat unsuitable for larger animals.

Ecological effects of air pollution used to be principally a concern in relation to trans-boundary industrial emissions across wide areas. However, recent research has shown that the effect of nitrogen close to busy roads can also have a significant localised effect on sensitive habitats.

Who Do We Work With?

We have a varied list of clients associated with a number of industries and services who need to assess and manage their air quality effects on ecology. We were also part of the Ashdown Forest Forum, which sought to steer developers and other stakeholders through the widely reported issues thrown up by Wealden Council’s local plan with regard to air pollution concerns from all types of development.

Our Air Pollution & Ecology Consultancy Methodology

The air pollution dispersion and deposition models we use provide contour plots that can be overlaid with Critical Load (the threshold at which damage to specific habitat can occur from air pollution deposition) data from APIS. Using guidance from the IAQM and CIEEM, and from our own ecological surveys, the resolution of these data can be increased to specify only those parts of a site that might be impacted and/or require mitigation. This higher resolution approach can help developers deliver their schemes without resorting to unnecessary and costly changes to their plans that might otherwise be revealed from less detailed approaches using simpler habitat assessment methods.

We can provide the following air quality and assessment services in relation to ecological impacts from a variety of air pollution sources:

Contact us today if you would like to discuss your project, and particularly if you feel that others have provided ecological impact advice that does not fit with the above or which doesn’t effectively deal with your concerns.