Nitrogen Deposition and Reduction of Terrestrial Biodiversity: Evidence from temperate grasslands

Dise, Nancy B. and Stevens, C. J. (2005). Nitrogen Deposition and Reduction of Terrestrial Biodiversity: Evidence from temperate grasslands. Science in China Series C: Life Sciences, 48(2) pp. 720–728.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03187112

Abstract

Biodiversity is thought to be essential for ecosystem stability, function and long-term sustainability. Since nitrogen is the limiting nutrient for plant growth in many terrestrial ecosystems, reactive nitrogen has the potential to reduce the diversity of terrestrial vegetation and associated biota through favouring species adapted to quickly exploiting available nutrients. Although the potential has long been recognised, only recently has enough evidence come together to show beyond reasonable doubt that these changes are already occurring. Linked together, experimental, regional/empirical, and time-series research provide a powerful argument that enhanced deposition of reactive nitrogen across Great Britain, and potentially the rest of Europe, has resulted in a significant and ongoing decline in grassland species richness and diversity.

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