SO2 and NH3 deposition as possible causes for the extinction of Arnica montana L.
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- Fennema, F. Water Air Soil Pollut (1992) 62: 325. doi:10.1007/BF00480264
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Soil and vegetation descriptions were made of stands of Arnica montana, a heathland species declining in The Netherlands. Stands where A. montana had recently disappeared were also examined. Soils where A. montana still occurred were richer in Mg, Ca, K, and Na, and had a higher soil pH, higher cation/N ratios and a lower Al/Ca ratio than soils where A. montana had disappeared during the last decade. Soil base cation contents were reflected in above-ground biomass base cation contents. A relation between soil N content (expressed in total soluble N, ammonium, and nitrate) and NH3 deposition was not found. Contents of exchangeable Ca, K, Na, and soil N varied strongly within a season. Stands with A. montana still present also had a relatively high number of other dicots, indicating that other Violion caninae herbs simultaneously decline with A. montana. The extinction of A. montana is correlated with a low soil pH and strongly correlated with low levels of available base cations and a high Al/Ca ration. Since soil acidification due to deposition of SO2 and NHyincreases leaching of base cations and Al3+ mobilization in the soil, the decline of A. montana may be explained by the acidification of nutrient-poor soils.