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Nitrogen deposition threatens species richness of grasslands across Europe

Stevens, Carly; 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 and Dise, Nancy B. (2010). Nitrogen deposition threatens species richness of grasslands across Europe. Environmental Pollution, 158(9) pp. 2940–2945.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2010.06.006
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Abstract

Evidence from an international survey in the Atlantic biogeographic region of Europe indicates that chronic nitrogen deposition is reducing plant species richness in acid grasslands. Across the deposition gradient in this region (2 to 44 kg N ha-1 yr-1) species richness showed a curvilinear response, with greatest reductions in species richness when deposition increased from low levels. This has important implications for conservation policies, suggesting that to protect the most sensitive grasslands resources should be focussed where deposition is currently low. Soil pH is also an important driver of species richness indicating that the acidifying effect of nitrogen deposition may be contributing to species richness reductions. The results of this survey suggest that the impacts of nitrogen deposition can be observed over a large geographical range.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2010 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN: 0269-7491
Keywords: acid grasslands; acidification; atmospheric nitrogen deposition; soil pH; species richness
Academic Unit/Department: Science > Environment, Earth and Ecosystems
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 22820
Depositing User: Astrid Peterkin
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2010 14:23
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2012 00:57
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/22820
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