Assessing the recovery potential of alpine moss-sedge heath: Reciprocal transplants along a nitrogen deposition gradient

Heather F. Armitage, Andrea J. Britton, Sarah J. Woodin, Rene van der Wal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The potential of alpine moss-sedge heath to recover from elevated nitrogen (N) deposition was assessed by transplanting Racomitrium lanuginosum shoots and vegetation turfs between 10 elevated N deposition sites (8.2-32.9 kg ha(-1) yr(-1)) and a low N deposition site, Ben Wyvis (7.2 kg ha(-1) yr(-1)). After two years, tissue N of Racomitrium shoots transplanted from higher N sites to Ben Wyvis only partially equilibrated to reduced N deposition whereas reciprocal transplants almost matched the tissue N of indigenous moss. Unexpectedly, moss shoot growth was stimulated at higher N deposition sites. However, moss depth and biomass increased in turfs transplanted to Ben Wyvis, apparently due to slower shoot turnover (suggested to result partly from decreased tissue C:N slowing decomposition), whilst abundance of vascular species declined. Racomitrium heath has the potential to recover from the impacts of N deposition; however, this is constrained by the persistence of enhanced moss tissue N contents. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-147
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume159
Issue number1
Early online date2 Oct 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

Keywords

  • nitrogen deposition
  • racomitrium heath
  • tissue N
  • bryophytes
  • recovery

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