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Resilience of upland soils to long term environmental changes

McGovern, S.T.; Evans, C.D.; Dennis, P.; Walmsley, C.A.; Turner, A.; McDonald, M.A.. 2013 Resilience of upland soils to long term environmental changes. Geoderma, 197-198. 36-42. 10.1016/j.geoderma.2012.12.018

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Abstract/Summary

The effect of long-term changes in land-use, pollution deposition and climate change on upland soils was evaluated by resurveying a large set of sites in a mountain landscape in the UK, which were initially sampled forty years ago. Unexpectedly, despite the length of time between sampling dates, no significant changes in pH, soil exchangeable base cations or C and N percentage content by weight were observed across a range of soil type and parent material. This suggests that the soils have been relatively resistant to the large changes in the environmental pressures experienced in the past forty years, which include a 1.5 °C increase in mean temperature; the peak of UK sulphur deposition in around 1970, followed by ~90% deposition reduction; long-term increases in nitrogen deposition; and major changes in grazing intensity. These results suggest that upland soils may be considerably more resilient to the future environmental changes than many previous assessments have suggested.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.geoderma.2012.12.018
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 1 - Monitoring and Interpretation of Biogeochemical and Climate Changes > BGC - 1.3 - Quantify & attribute changes in biogeochemiical cycles ...
CEH Sections: Emmett
ISSN: 0016-7061
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: : this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Environmental Management. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Environmental Management, 113. 117-127. 10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.07.030 www.elsevier.com/
Additional Keywords: climate change, nitrogen, grazing, land use, atmospheric pollution, soil chemistry
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 08 Feb 2013 12:35 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/500025

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