Diagnostic indicators of elevated nitrogen deposition

Pitcairn, Carole; Fowler, David; Leith, Ian; Sheppard, Lucy; Tang, Sim; Sutton, Mark ORCID:; Famulari, Daniela. 2006 Diagnostic indicators of elevated nitrogen deposition. Environmental Pollution, 144. 941-950.

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Tissue N content of mosses, which has been shown to be an indicator of enhanced N, was studied at a range of locations dominated either by wet or dry deposited and oxidised and reduced forms of N. Tissue N responded differently to wet and dry deposited N. For a 1 kg ha−1 y−1 increase in N deposition, tissue N increased by 0.01% at wet deposition sites but by 0.03% at sites dominated by dry deposited NH3. Tissue N at wet deposition sites responded more to concentrations of NO3− and NH4+ in precipitation (r2 0.63) than to total N deposition (r2 0.27), concentration explaining 66% of the variation in tissue N, wet deposition 33%. The study clearly concludes that tissue N concentration in mosses provides a good indication of N deposition at sites where deposition is dominated by NH3, and is also valuable in identifying vegetation exposed to large concentrations of NH4+ or NO3−, in wet deposition dominated areas, such as hilltops and wind exposed woodland edges. Moss tissue N is a good indicator of enhanced N deposition at sites close to point sources of NH3, but of limited diagnostic value in wet deposition dominated areas.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Atmospheric Sciences
ISSN: 0269-7491
Format Availability: Electronic, Print
Additional Keywords: Nitrogen, Deposition, Concentration, Tissue N
NORA Subject Terms: Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 02 Jul 2007 08:57 +0 (UTC)

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