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Environ Pollut. 2014 Apr;187:73-80. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2013.12.023. Epub 2014 Jan 21.

Spatio-temporal trends of nitrogen deposition and climate effects on Sphagnum productivity in European peatlands.

Author information

1
School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1, Canada; Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7050, SE-75007 Uppsala, Sweden. Electronic address: Gustaf.Granath@gmail.com.
2
Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology Group, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 3a, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: juul.limpens@wur.nl.
3
Coordination Centre for Effects (CCE), RIVM, PO Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands. Electronic address: max.posch@rivm.nl.
4
Alterra, Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), PO Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: sander.mucher@wur.nl.
5
Alterra, Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), PO Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands; Environmental Systems Analysis Group, Wageningen University, PO Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: wim.devries@wur.nl.

Abstract

To quantify potential nitrogen (N) deposition impacts on peatland carbon (C) uptake, we explored temporal and spatial trends in N deposition and climate impacts on the production of the key peat forming functional group (Sphagnum mosses) across European peatlands for the period 1900-2050. Using a modelling approach we estimated that between 1900 and 1950 N deposition impacts remained limited irrespective of geographical position. Between 1950 and 2000 N deposition depressed production between 0 and 25% relative to 1900, particularly in temperate regions. Future scenarios indicate this trend will continue and become more pronounced with climate warming. At the European scale, the consequences for Sphagnum net C-uptake remained small relative to 1900 due to the low peatland cover in high-N areas. The predicted impacts of likely changes in N deposition on Sphagnum productivity appeared to be less than those of climate. Nevertheless, current critical loads for peatlands are likely to hold under a future climate.

KEYWORDS:

Air pollution; Carbon balance; Critical load; Ecosystem change; Peat mosses

PMID:
24457298
DOI:
10.1016/j.envpol.2013.12.023
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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