Foliar Nitrogen as an Indicator of Nitrogen Deposition and Critical Loads Exceedance on a European Scale

Pitcairn, Carole E.R.; Leith, Ian D.; Sutton, Mark A. ORCID:; Fowler, David; Hargreaves, Ken J.; Moghaddam, Masoud; Kennedy, Valerie H; Grannat, Lennart. 2001 Foliar Nitrogen as an Indicator of Nitrogen Deposition and Critical Loads Exceedance on a European Scale. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 130. 1037-1042.

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The foliar N content of bryophytes and Calluna vulgaris (L.) has been shown to be an indicator of atmospheric N deposition in the UK at a regional scale (1000km) and more recently on a smaller scale in the vicinity of intensive livestock farms. This work extends the geographical scale of the relationship between foliar N concentration of Calluna vulgaris and other ericaceous shrubs and N deposition with 2 measurement transects, one extending from northern Finland to southern Norway (2000 km) and the other extending from central Sweden to Stockholm, south east Sweden (330 km). Included in the second transect is a region of complex terrain in the Transtrand uplands, where the variation in N deposition with altitude and canopy cover was quantified using 210Pb inventories in organic soil. The relationship between foliar N (FN) and N deposition was shown to increase linearly with N deposition (ND) over the range 0.8% N to 1.4% N according to FN = 0.040ND + 0.793 (r2 = 0.70). The data are entirely consistent with earlier studies which together provide a valuable indicator of critical loads exceedance, the threshold value being approximately 1.5% N, which is equivalent to a N deposition of 20 kg N ha–1 y–1.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Environmental Chemistry & Pollution
ISSN: 0049-6979
Additional Keywords: foliar N, N deposition, Calluna vulgaris, critical load exceedance, Europe
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 20 May 2009 08:29 +0 (UTC)

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