Nitrogen Deposition

Nitrogen deposition :: Neutral Grassland

Pollutants: 

Effects and implications

  • Increases in proportion of productive grasses at expense of fine leaved grasses.
  • Reduces species richness, especially among forbs
  • Possible reductions in productivity
  • Changes in species composition
  • Loss of rare or endangered species.
  • Loss of annuals and forbs will have implications for sustainability, due to the short lived nature of the seed bank (Bossuyt et al 2005) and the isolation of many of these small areas of grassland.

Nitrogen deposition :: Montane Habitats

Habitats: 
Pollutants: 

Effects and implications

  • Eutrophication: these systems are adapted to low levels of mineral N availability, increasing the availability of N will threaten the competitive balance between species leading to changes in composition and loss of habitat species constants.
  • Lichens and mosses are particularly sensitive to nitrogen both from direct effects associated with N accumulation and from shading as a consequence of N stimulated growth of over-storey vegetation.

Nitrogen Deposition :: Maritime Cliff and Slopes

Pollutants: 

Effects and implications

  • Potential increase in graminoid (grass) biomass, with adverse effects on forbs.
  • Loss of sensitive lichen species

Overview: evidence, processes and main impacts

This habitat represents a range of different systems for which there is no known experimental information on the impacts of nitrogen deposition.

Nitrogen Deposition :: Fen, Marsh and Swamp

Pollutants: 

Effects and implications

  • Sphagnum species will be vulnerable to N both through direct N induced toxicity and indirectly from shading by increased vascular plants growth. The extent to which shading occurs will reflect the capacity of the vascular plants to use the addition N to increase C assimilation. Molinia caerulea , despite having a relatively low Ellenberg N score¬† appears to be a nitrophile in the presence of high NH4+ concentrations (van den Berg pers comm.).
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