The impact of nitrogen deposition on acid grasslands in the Atlantic region of Europe

Stevens, Carly and Dupre, C. and Dorland, E. and Gaudnik, C. and Gowing, D. J. G. and Bleeker, A. and Diekmann, M. and Alard, D. and Bobbink, R. and Fowler, D. and Corcket, E. and Mountford, J.O. and Vandvik, V. and Aarrestad, P.A. and Muller, S. and Dise, N. B. (2011) The impact of nitrogen deposition on acid grasslands in the Atlantic region of Europe. Environmental Pollution, 159 (10). pp. 2243-2250. ISSN 0269-7491

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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.

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Journal Article
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Environmental Pollution
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03 May 2012 14:31
Last Modified:
21 Nov 2022 22:14