Nitrogen deposition increases the acquisition of phosphorus and potassium by heather Calluna vulgaris

Rowe, Edwin C. ORCID:; Smart, Simon M. ORCID:; Kennedy, Valerie H.; Emmett, Bridget A. ORCID:; Evans, Chris D. ORCID: 2008 Nitrogen deposition increases the acquisition of phosphorus and potassium by heather Calluna vulgaris. Environmental Pollution, 155 (2). 201-207.

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Increased plant productivity due to nitrogen pollution increases the strength of the global carbon sink, but is implicated in plant diversity loss. However, modelling and experimental studies have suggested that these effects are constrained by availability of other nutrients. In a survey of element concentrations in Calluna vulgaris across an N deposition gradient in the UK, shoot concentrations of N and more surprisingly phosphorus and potassium were positively correlated with N deposition; tissue N/P ratio even decreased with N deposition. Elevated P and K concentrations possibly resulted from improved acquisition due to additional enzyme production or mycorrhizal activity. Heather occurs on organic soils where nutrient limitations are likely due to availability constraints rather than small stocks. However, if this effect extends to other plant and soil types, effects of N deposition on C sinks and plant competition may not be as constrained by availability of other nutrients as previously proposed.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Emmett
ISSN: 0269-7491
Additional Keywords: Heathland, Limitation, Nutrient, Saturation, Sequestration
NORA Subject Terms: Botany
Agriculture and Soil Science
Ecology and Environment
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 28 Aug 2008 09:25 +0 (UTC)

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