N deposition :: False brome grass

Latin name: 
Brachypodium pinnatum

Impact Type: Deposition of pollutant

Key Concerns:

False brome grass (Brachypodium pinnatum) is an invasive species which is favoured by nitrogen deposition (Wilson et al. 1995a, Hornung et al. 1994). This is a particular problem for calcareous species rich grasslands and heathland communities (Bobbink et al. 1998, Britton et al 2000, UN ECE CLRTAP 1996). B. pinnatum stores N below ground in a well developed rhizome system allowing it to establish itself as an aggressive competitor from early spring. B. pinnatum appears to have a relatively low P-K demand which will also give it a competitive advantage.

Additional Comments:

Most of the research on this species is from southern England and Holland (e.g. Bobbink et al. 1998, Britton et al. 2000). 

Critical Load/level: 
Habitat/ Ecosystem Type Eunis Code Critical Load/ Level Status Reliability Indication of exceedance Reference
Alpine and subalpine grasslands E4.3; E4.4

5-10 Kg N ha-1 year-1

UNECE 2010 - Noordwijkerhout workshop expert judgement

Changes in species composition; increase in plant production.

Sub-atlantic semi-dry calcareous grassland E1.26

15-25 kg N ha-1 year-1

UNECE 2010 - Noordwijkerhout workshop reliable

Increase in tall grasses, decline in diversity, increased mineralization, N leaching; surface acidification.

Bobbink, R.; Hornung, M.; Roelofs, J.G.M. 1998 The effects of air-borne nitrogen pollutants on species diversity in natural and semi-natural European vegetation Journal of Ecology 86 717-738
Britton, A.J.; Marrs, R.H.; Carey, P.D.; Pakeman, R.J. 2000 Comparison of techniques to increase Calluna vulgaris cover on heathland invaded by grasses in Breckland, south east England. Biological Conservation 95 227-232
Hornung, M.; Bull, K.R.; Cresser, M.S.; Loveland, P.J.; Langan, S.J.; Reynolds, B.; Robertson, W.H.; Battarbee, (Eds) R.W. 1994 Acid Rain and its Impact: The Critical Loads Debate. 43-51
Species group: 

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