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Environ Pollut. 2011 Jul;159(7):1778-82. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2011.04.003. Epub 2011 May 6.

The effect of nitrogen deposition on the species richness of acid grasslands in Denmark: a comparison with a study performed on a European scale.

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Department of Terrestrial Ecology, NERI, Aarhus University, Vejlsøvej 25, 8600 Silkeborg, Denmark.


The effect of atmospheric nitrogen deposition on the species richness of acid grasslands was investigated by combining data from a large Danish monitoring program with a large European data set, where a significant non-linear negative effect of nitrogen deposition had been demonstrated (Stevens et al., 2010). The nitrogen deposition range in Denmark is relatively small and when only considering the Danish data a non-significant decrease in the species richness with nitrogen deposition was observed. However, when both data sets were combined, then the conclusion of the European survey was further corroborated by the results of the Danish monitoring. Furthermore, by combining the two data sets a more comprehensive picture of the threats to the biodiversity of acid grasslands emerge; i.e., species richness in remnant patches of acid grassland in intensively cultivated agricultural landscapes is under influence not only from nitrogen deposition, but also from current and historical land use.

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