Stevens, C. (corresponding author, firstname.lastname@example.org): Department of Life Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK; Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, UK Duprè, C. (email@example.com) & Diekmann, M. (firstname.lastname@example.org): Institute of Ecology, FB 2, University of Bremen, Leobener Str., DE-28359 Bremen, Germany Gaudnik, C. (email@example.com), Alard, D. (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Corcket, E. (email@example.com): Université de Bordeaux, UMR 1202 BioGeCo, Bât B8 RdC, Av des Facultés, F-33405 Talence, France Dorland, E. (firstname.lastname@example.org): Section of Landscape Ecology, Department of Geobiology, Utrecht University, PO Box 80084, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands; Staatsbosbeheer, Postbus 1300, 3970 BH Driebergen, The Netherlands Dise, N. (email@example.com): Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M1 5GD, UK Gowing, D. (firstname.lastname@example.org): Department of Life Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK Bleeker, A. (email@example.com): Department of Air Quality & Climate Change, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands, PO Box 1, 1755, ZG Petten, The Netherlands Bobbink, R. (firstname.lastname@example.org): B-WARE Research Centre, Radboud University, PO Box 9010, 6525 ED Nijmegen, The Netherlands Fowler, D. (email@example.com): Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0QB, UK Vandvik, V. (firstname.lastname@example.org): Department of Biology, University of Bergen, Box 7800 N-5020 Bergen, Norway Mountford, J. O. (email@example.com): Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, MacLean Building, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 8BB, UK Aarrestad, P. A. (firstname.lastname@example.org): Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, NO-7485 Trondheim, Norway Muller, S. (email@example.com): Laboratoire des Interactions Ecotoxicologie, Biodiversité et Ecosystèmes (LIEBE), UMR CNRS 7146, U.F.R. Sci. F.A., Campus Bridoux, Université Paul Verlaine, Avenue du Général Delestraint F 57070 Metz, France
Changes in species composition of European acid grasslands observed along a gradient of nitrogen deposition
Article first published online: 24 JAN 2011
© 2011 International Association for Vegetation Science
Journal of Vegetation Science
Volume 22, Issue 2, pages 207–215, April 2011
How to Cite
Stevens, C., Duprè, C., Gaudnik, C., Dorland, E., Dise, N., Gowing, D., Bleeker, A., Alard, D., Bobbink, R., Fowler, D., Vandvik, V., Corcket, E., Mountford, J. O., Aarrestad, P. A., Muller, S. and Diekmann, M. (2011), Changes in species composition of European acid grasslands observed along a gradient of nitrogen deposition. Journal of Vegetation Science, 22: 207–215. doi: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2010.01254.x
Co-ordinating Editor: Rasmus Ejrnæs
- Issue published online: 2 MAR 2011
- Article first published online: 24 JAN 2011
- Received 11 September 2010, Accepted 9 December 2010
- Acid grassland;
- Nitrogen deposition;
- Soil biogeochemistry;
- Variation partitioning;
- Violion caninae
Question: Which environmental variables affect floristic species composition of acid grasslands in the Atlantic biogeographic region of Europe along a gradient of atmospheric N deposition?
Location: Transect across the Atlantic biogeographic region of Europe including Ireland, Great Britain, Isle of Man, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
Materials and Methods: In 153 acid grasslands we assessed plant and bryophyte species composition, soil chemistry (pH, base cations, metals, nitrate and ammonium concentrations, total C and N, and Olsen plant available phosphorus), climatic variables, N deposition and S deposition. Ordination and variation partitioning were used to determine the relative importance of different drivers on the species composition of the studied grasslands.
Results: Climate, soil and deposition variables explained 24% of the total variation in species composition. Variance partitioning showed that soil variables explained the most variation in the data set and that climate and geographic variables accounted for slightly less variation. Deposition variables (N and S deposition) explained 9.8% of the variation in the ordination. Species positively associated with N deposition included Holcus mollis and Leontodon hispidus. Species negatively associated with N deposition included Agrostis curtisii, Leontodon autumnalis, Campanula rotundifolia and Hylocomium splendens.
Conclusion: Although secondary to climate gradients and soil biogeochemistry, and not as strong as for species richness, the impact of N and S deposition on species composition can be detected in acid grasslands, influencing community composition both directly and indirectly, presumably through soil-mediated effects.