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Trends Ecol Evol. 1996 Dec;11(12):494-7.

Nitrogen- or phosphorus-limited growth in herbaceous, wet vegetation: relations with atmospheric inputs and management regimes.

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  • 1J.T.A. Verhoeven is at the Dept of Plant Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Utrecht University, PO Box 800.84, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Herbaceous vegetation under temperate climatic conditions generally shows nitrogen- or phosphorus-limited plant growth, which creates conditions for a high botanical diversity. Is nitrogen (N) or phosphorus (P) the most important limiting factor, or are both generally in short supply? What are the consequences of Increased N and P inputs that result from anthropogenic disturbances? A new indicator of N or P limitation, that is, the vegetation N:P ratio, allows us to address these questions for a range of mires, dune slacks and moist grasslands.

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