The impact of nitrogen deposition on acid grasslands in the Atlantic region of 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. 2011 The impact of nitrogen deposition on acid grasslands in the Atlantic region of Europe. Environmental Pollution, 159 (10). 2243-2250.

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A survey of 153 acid grasslands from the Atlantic biogeographic region of Europe indicates that chronic nitrogen deposition is changing plant species composition and soil and plant-tissue chemistry. Across the deposition gradient (2–44 kg N ha−1 yr−1) grass richness as a proportion of total species richness increased whereas forb richness decreased. Soil C:N ratio increased, but soil extractable nitrate and ammonium concentrations did not show any relationship with nitrogen deposition. The above-ground tissue nitrogen contents of three plant species were examined: Agrostis capillaris (grass), Galium saxatile (forb) and Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus (bryophyte). The tissue nitrogen content of neither vascular plant species showed any relationship with nitrogen deposition, but there was a weak positive relationship between R. squarrosus nitrogen content and nitrogen deposition. None of the species showed strong relationships between above-ground tissue N:P or C:N and nitrogen deposition, indicating that they are not good indicators of deposition rate.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Billett (to November 2013)
ISSN: 0269-7491
Additional Keywords: atmospheric nitrogen deposition, plant functional group, plant-tissue nitrogen, soil C:N, soil pH,
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 09 Jan 2012 16:50 +0 (UTC)

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