Growth and tissue nitrogen of epiphytic Atlantic bryophytes: effects of increased and decreased atmospheric N deposition
Article first published online: 14 MAY 2004
Volume 18, Issue 3, pages 322–329, June 2004
How to Cite
MITCHELL, R. J., SUTTON, M. A., TRUSCOTT, A.-M., LEITH, I. D., CAPE, J. N., PITCAIRN, C. E. R. and VAN DIJK, N. (2004), Growth and tissue nitrogen of epiphytic Atlantic bryophytes: effects of increased and decreased atmospheric N deposition. Functional Ecology, 18: 322–329. doi: 10.1111/j.0269-8463.2004.00828.x
- Issue published online: 14 MAY 2004
- Article first published online: 14 MAY 2004
- Received 2 October 2003; accepted 13 November 2003
- nitrogen deposition;
- 1Atlantic bryophytes are of European conservation importance, yet the effect on them of excess atmospheric nitrogen is relatively unknown. This study assesses the effects of increased atmospheric N deposition on the growth and tissue N of epiphytic Atlantic bryophytes, and their potential to recover following a decline in N deposition.
- 2The N received in stemflow by bryophytes at two sites was measured and compared to model predictions.
- 3Four species of epiphytic bryophytes (Isothecium myosuroides, Dicranum scoparium, Frullania tamarisci and Ulota crispa), typical of Atlantic Oak woods, were studied in a 12-month reciprocal transplant experiment between a pristine Oak woodland receiving a modelled atmospheric deposition of 12 kg N ha−1 year−1 and a polluted one receiving 54 kg N ha−1 year−1.
- 4Tissue N concentration increased and growth declined following an increase in atmospheric N deposition in all species except Ulota crispa. Conversely, tissue N concentration decreased and growth increased in Frullania tamarisci following a decrease in atmospheric N deposition, with similar non-significant patterns in the other species.
- 5The reciprocal transplants indicate a detrimental effect of increased N deposition on the bryophyte species studied. The study indicated recovery following a decrease in atmospheric N deposition, but the responses caused by decreased N deposition were smaller than those due to increased N deposition. This suggests that the time-scale for recovery of bryophytes from excess N deposition is longer than the timescale of nitrogen impacts.