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Nitrogen deposition threatens species richness of grasslands across Europe

Stevens, Carly J.; Duprè, Cecilia; Dorland, Edu; Gaudnik, Cassandre; Gowing, David J.G.; Bleeker, Albert; Diekmann, Martin; Alard, Didier; Bobbink, Roland; Fowler, David; Corcket, Emmanuel; Mountford, J. Owen; Vandvik, Vigdis; Aarrestad, Per Arild; Muller, Serge; Dise, Nancy B. 2010 Nitrogen deposition threatens species richness of grasslands across Europe. Environmental Pollution, 158. 2940-2945. 10.1016/j.envpol.2010.06.006

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Abstract/Summary

Evidence from an international survey in the Atlantic biogeographic region of Europe indicates that chronic nitrogen deposition is reducing plant species richness in acid grasslands. Across the deposition gradient in this region (2 to 44 kg N ha-1 yr-1) species richness showed a curvilinear response, with greatest reductions in species richness when deposition increased from low levels. This has important implications for conservation policies, suggesting that to protect the most sensitive grasslands resources should be focussed where deposition is currently low. Soil pH is also an important driver of species richness indicating that the acidifying effect of nitrogen deposition may be contributing to species richness reductions. The results of this survey suggest that the impacts of nitrogen deposition can be observed over a large geographical range. Capsule: Atmospheric nitrogen deposition is reducing biodiversity in grasslands across Europe.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.envpol.2010.06.006
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 onwards > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 1 - Monitoring and Interpretation of Biogeochemical and Climate Changes > BGC - 1.1 - Monitor concentrations, fluxes, physico-chemical forms of current and emerging pollutants ...
CEH Sections: Billett (to 30 Nov 2013)
Pywell
ISSN: 0269-7491
Additional Keywords: acid grasslands, acidification, atmospheric nitrogen deposition soil pH, Species richness
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 26 Aug 2010 14:55
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/10793

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