How much is too much? nitrogen critical loads and eutrophication and acidification in oligotrophic ecosystems

William D. Bowman, L’uboš Halada, Juraj Hreško, Cory C. Cleveland, Jill S. Baron, John Murgel

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    Abstract

    Ecosystem impacts from nitrogen (N) deposition are related to (1) the degree to which plant growth responds to increases in N supply and (2) soil buffering capacity. Herbaceous communities dominated by plants adapted to low nutrient supply typically have low capacity to take up inputs of N. As a result they are more highly susceptible to loss of base cations, acidification, and increased production of toxic aluminium, manganese, and iron. Here we show that alpine ecosystems with acidic parent material display loss of biotic uptake together with soil acidification at relatively low inputs of N deposition, and can possibly reach extreme levels of acidification as indicated by a shift from an aluminium to an iron dominated soil buffering system.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNitrogen Deposition, Critical Loads and Biodiversity
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the International Nitrogen Initiative Workshop, Linking Experts of the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution and the Convention on Biological Diversity
    PublisherSpringer Netherlands
    Pages305-310
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Electronic)9789400779396
    ISBN (Print)9789400779389
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

    Keywords

    • Acidification
    • Alpine ecosystems
    • Aluminium toxicity
    • Base cations
    • Eutrophication

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