Air pollution as a possible cause for the decline of some phanerogamic species in The Netherlands
- Cite this article as:
- van Dam, D., van Dobben, H.F., ter Braak, C.F.J. et al. Vegetatio (1986) 65: 47. doi:10.1007/BF00032126
In The Netherlands the decline of some phanerogamic species cannot be readily explained from obvious factors such as lowering of the groundwater table, eutrophication or land reclamation. For a number of species the hypothesis was tested that the decline is partly due to air pollution. A two-factor model was made in which decline is accounted for by (a) habitat destruction assessed from topographic maps and (b) air pollution measured as the SO2 95-percentile over the winter period 1978/1979. Effects of both factors were assumed to follow a sigmoid dose-effect curve. For a number of species decline proved to be significantly correlated with air pollution. These are notably species from the syntaxon Violion caninae. A comparison was made with results obtained for epiphytic lichens. It appears that for some phanerogamic species sensitivity is about the same as for moderately sensitive lichens.