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Bioindicators of enhanced nitrogen deposition

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ed Okello


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Increased deposition of atmospheric N largely from intensive agriculture is affecting biodiversity and the composition of natural and semi-natural vegetation in Europe. The value of species based bioindicators such as the Ellenberg N index and measurements of total tissue N and free amino acids in key plant species, is described with reference to a mixed woodland downwind of a livestock farm in the Scottish Borders, operated for over 20 years with a measured spatial gradient of ammonia concentration (29-1.5 μg m -3). All the indicators examined showed a relationship with N deposition and provided some indication of vegetation change. Total tissue N and arginine concentrations were most closely linked with ammonia concentrations and N deposition, with r2 values of >0.97 and >0.78 respectively. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pitcairn CER, Fowler D, Leith ID, Sheppard LJ, Sutton MA, Kennedy V, Okello E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Pollution

Year: 2003

Volume: 126

Issue: 3

Pages: 353-361

ISSN (print): 0269-7491

ISSN (electronic): 1873-6424

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/S0269-7491(03)00248-3

PubMed id: 12963296


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