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Explanation: The European Commission scientists have produced a new atlas showing the areas of Europe under most pressure from fertilisers and Ireland figures amongst those with the highest levels. Other areas in Europe with high levels are large portions of The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, France and Italy.
Nutrients are essential for plants and animals, but in excessive amounts they can lead to a significant decrease in soil and water quality. Nutrients can be introduced into the environment through fertilisers or other agrochemicals, and strict regulations have been adopted to limit their use. The new atlas provides for the first time a clear view on the pressure on eco-systems due to nutrients and their source.