Metabolomics

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 279–285

Metabolic fingerprinting for bio-indication of nitrogen responses in Calluna vulgaris heath communities

Authors

  • Eleanor A. Gidman
    • Institute of Biological Sciences, Trophic Interaction FacilityThe University of Wales Aberystwyth
  • Royston Goodacre
    • School of ChemistryThe University of Manchester
  • Bridget Emmett
    • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • Deirdre B. Wilson
    • Atmospheric Research and Information Centre, Department of Environmental and Geographical SciencesManchester Metropolitan University
  • Jacky A. Carroll
    • Atmospheric Research and Information Centre, Department of Environmental and Geographical SciencesManchester Metropolitan University
  • Simon J. M. Caporn
    • Atmospheric Research and Information Centre, Department of Environmental and Geographical SciencesManchester Metropolitan University
  • Neil Cresswell
    • Department of Biological SciencesManchester Metropolitan University
    • Institute of Biological Sciences, Trophic Interaction FacilityThe University of Wales Aberystwyth
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11306-005-0004-0

Cite this article as:
Gidman, E.A., Goodacre, R., Emmett, B. et al. Metabolomics (2005) 1: 279. doi:10.1007/s11306-005-0004-0

Increased atmospheric deposition of nitrogen (N) over the last 50 years is known to have led to deleterious effects on the health of Calluna vulgaris heathland, with increased proliferation of grasses and loss of species diversity. However, currently it is difficult to attribute damage specifically to N deposition rather than other drivers of change such as inappropriate management. Metabolic fingerprinting using FT-IR offers a rapid, cost-effective and “holistic” means for quantifying foliar biochemistry responses specifically to N deposition. To test the potential of this approach we used a long term lowland heath N addition study in Chesire, England. FT-IR spectra of treated C. vulgaris shoot material showed that responses were detectable above 20 kg N ha−1 year−1. Differentiation was also evident in C. vulgaris metabolic fingerprints due to additional watering. We have shown that FT-IR is able to identify biochemical variations in C. vulgaris related to increases in received N and water. This technique therefore provides a sensitive measure of biochemical change in response to N addition, and allows development towards predictive modelling of N deposition at the landscape level.

Keywords:

nitrogenCalluna vulgarisbio-indicationmetabolic fingerprintingFT-IR

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005