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Nitrogen deposition effects on Mediterranean-type ecosystems: An ecological assessment

Ochoa-Hueso, Raul; Allen, Edith B.; Branquinho, Cristina; Cruz, Cristina; Dias, Teresa; Fenn, Mark E.; Manrique, Esteban; Pérez-Corona, M. Esther; Sheppard, Lucy J.; Stock, William D.. 2011 Nitrogen deposition effects on Mediterranean-type ecosystems: An ecological assessment. Environmental Pollution, 159 (10). 2265-2279. 10.1016/j.envpol.2010.12.019

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Abstract/Summary

We review the ecological consequences of N deposition on the five Mediterranean regions of the world. Seasonality of precipitation and fires regulate the N cycle in these water-limited ecosystems, where dry N deposition dominates. Nitrogen accumulation in soils and on plant surfaces results in peaks of availability with the first winter rains. Decoupling between N flushes and plant demand promotes losses via leaching and gas emissions. Differences in P availability may control the response to N inputs and susceptibility to exotic plant invasion. Invasive grasses accumulate as fuel during the dry season, altering fire regimes. California and the Mediterranean Basin are the most threatened by N deposition; however, there is limited evidence for N deposition impacts outside of California. Consequently, more research is needed to determine critical loads for each region and vegetation type based on the most sensitive elements, such as changes in lichen species composition and N cycling.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.envpol.2010.12.019
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry
CEH Sections: Billett (to November 2013)
ISSN: 0269-7491
Additional Keywords: dry deposition, exotic plants, fire cycle, Mediterranean-type ecosystems, N flushes, phosphorus, seasonality
NORA Subject Terms: Botany
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 15 Feb 2012 09:08
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/16179

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