Differential responses of UK upland plants to nitrogen deposition

I D Leith, W K Hicks, D Fowler, S J Woodin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Native upland species, Nardus stricta, Eriophorum vaginatum, Erica cinerea and Vaccinium vitis-idaea were given 3 or 60 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1), over 2 yr, applied as a mist (NH4NO3). The high N treatment increased above-ground biomass in all four species, but only significantly in E. cinerea, E. vaginatum and N. stricta. Biomass increases in E. vaginatum and N. stricta resulted from enhanced tiller production rather than shoot elongation. Root growth increased in N. stricta, so that root:shoot ratio in this species was unchanged by N. Root growth in E. vaginatum, E. cinerea and V. vitis-idaea did not respond to N and their root:shoot ratios decreased. Tissue N concentrations increased in both shoots and roots of all species in response to S. The accumulated foliar N did not increase the proportion of N allocated to Rubisco and the photosynthetic capacities of S, stricta, E. vaginatum and V. vitis-idaea were unchanged. Thus growth responses to N were due to altered allocation rather than increased rate of photosynthesis per unit leaf area. The high N treatment increased flower production significantly in E. cinerea but not in the other species. Although in this experiment dwarf shrubs were more responsive than graminoids to N, in the field at current N inputs the enhanced tillering of the graminoids ma? be more competitively advantageous, especially where gaps develop in the canopy. Thus increasing N deposition may lead to increased grassiness of upland heath, and in particular, a spread of N. stricta.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-289
Number of pages13
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume141
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Keywords

  • nitrogen
  • Erica cinerea (bell-heather)
  • Eriophorum vaginatum (cotton-grass)
  • Nardus stricta (matgrass)
  • Vaccinium vitis-idaea (cowberry)
  • RED SPRUCE SEEDLINGS
  • VULGARIS L HULL
  • ERIOPHORUM-VAGINATUM
  • NUTRIENT AVAILABILITY
  • FROST HARDINESS
  • LEAF NITROGEN
  • ACID MIST
  • GROWTH
  • TUNDRA
  • FERTILIZATION

Cite this

Leith, I. D., Hicks, W. K., Fowler, D., & Woodin, S. J. (1999). Differential responses of UK upland plants to nitrogen deposition. New Phytologist, 141, 277-289.

Differential responses of UK upland plants to nitrogen deposition. / Leith, I D ; Hicks, W K ; Fowler, D ; Woodin, S J .

In: New Phytologist, Vol. 141, 1999, p. 277-289.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Leith, ID, Hicks, WK, Fowler, D & Woodin, SJ 1999, 'Differential responses of UK upland plants to nitrogen deposition', New Phytologist, vol. 141, pp. 277-289.
Leith, I D ; Hicks, W K ; Fowler, D ; Woodin, S J . / Differential responses of UK upland plants to nitrogen deposition. In: New Phytologist. 1999 ; Vol. 141. pp. 277-289.
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Differential responses of UK upland plants to nitrogen deposition

AU - Leith, I D

AU - Hicks, W K

AU - Fowler, D

AU - Woodin, S J

PY - 1999

Y1 - 1999

N2 - Native upland species, Nardus stricta, Eriophorum vaginatum, Erica cinerea and Vaccinium vitis-idaea were given 3 or 60 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1), over 2 yr, applied as a mist (NH4NO3). The high N treatment increased above-ground biomass in all four species, but only significantly in E. cinerea, E. vaginatum and N. stricta. Biomass increases in E. vaginatum and N. stricta resulted from enhanced tiller production rather than shoot elongation. Root growth increased in N. stricta, so that root:shoot ratio in this species was unchanged by N. Root growth in E. vaginatum, E. cinerea and V. vitis-idaea did not respond to N and their root:shoot ratios decreased. Tissue N concentrations increased in both shoots and roots of all species in response to S. The accumulated foliar N did not increase the proportion of N allocated to Rubisco and the photosynthetic capacities of S, stricta, E. vaginatum and V. vitis-idaea were unchanged. Thus growth responses to N were due to altered allocation rather than increased rate of photosynthesis per unit leaf area. The high N treatment increased flower production significantly in E. cinerea but not in the other species. Although in this experiment dwarf shrubs were more responsive than graminoids to N, in the field at current N inputs the enhanced tillering of the graminoids ma? be more competitively advantageous, especially where gaps develop in the canopy. Thus increasing N deposition may lead to increased grassiness of upland heath, and in particular, a spread of N. stricta.

AB - Native upland species, Nardus stricta, Eriophorum vaginatum, Erica cinerea and Vaccinium vitis-idaea were given 3 or 60 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1), over 2 yr, applied as a mist (NH4NO3). The high N treatment increased above-ground biomass in all four species, but only significantly in E. cinerea, E. vaginatum and N. stricta. Biomass increases in E. vaginatum and N. stricta resulted from enhanced tiller production rather than shoot elongation. Root growth increased in N. stricta, so that root:shoot ratio in this species was unchanged by N. Root growth in E. vaginatum, E. cinerea and V. vitis-idaea did not respond to N and their root:shoot ratios decreased. Tissue N concentrations increased in both shoots and roots of all species in response to S. The accumulated foliar N did not increase the proportion of N allocated to Rubisco and the photosynthetic capacities of S, stricta, E. vaginatum and V. vitis-idaea were unchanged. Thus growth responses to N were due to altered allocation rather than increased rate of photosynthesis per unit leaf area. The high N treatment increased flower production significantly in E. cinerea but not in the other species. Although in this experiment dwarf shrubs were more responsive than graminoids to N, in the field at current N inputs the enhanced tillering of the graminoids ma? be more competitively advantageous, especially where gaps develop in the canopy. Thus increasing N deposition may lead to increased grassiness of upland heath, and in particular, a spread of N. stricta.

KW - nitrogen

KW - Erica cinerea (bell-heather)

KW - Eriophorum vaginatum (cotton-grass)

KW - Nardus stricta (matgrass)

KW - Vaccinium vitis-idaea (cowberry)

KW - RED SPRUCE SEEDLINGS

KW - VULGARIS L HULL

KW - ERIOPHORUM-VAGINATUM

KW - NUTRIENT AVAILABILITY

KW - FROST HARDINESS

KW - LEAF NITROGEN

KW - ACID MIST

KW - GROWTH

KW - TUNDRA

KW - FERTILIZATION

M3 - Article

VL - 141

SP - 277

EP - 289

JO - New Phytologist

JF - New Phytologist

SN - 0028-646X

ER -