Increasing anthropogenic intervention within the terrestrial environment has perturbed the cycling of major nutrients, such as carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) with detrimental effects on climate, biodiversity and the ability for ecosystems to supply fundamental services for human health and sustainable economic growth. Controlling diffuse pollutants from terrestrial ecosystems to the atmosphere and receiving waters is paramount for maintaining the integrity of multi-functional landscapes and protecting the wider environment.Utilising four typical land use categories (uplands, woodlands, agriculture: grassland/cropland), we discuss sources and the qualitative risk of diffuse pollutant production that impacts on air and water quality. Integrated diffuse pollution research that combines gaseous, dissolved and solid (particulate) physical phases is essential for understanding inter-relationships between different pollutant fates, and preventing unintentional pollutant swapping. Future research and awareness should focus on mitigation measures that achieve multiple benefits and minimal disbenefits with respect to diffuse pollution, whilst considering other ecosystem service sectors. Where evidence of benefits can be proven, these can be incorporated within an integrated catchment approach to environmental management and planning.
- dissolved organic-carbon