, Volume 138, Issue 2, pp 149-160

Nutrient concentration in shape Sphagna at increased N-deposition rates and raised atmospheric CO2 concentrations

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Abstract

Sphagnum fuscum, S. magellanicum, S. angustifolium and S. warnstorfii were treated with N deposition rates (0, 10, 30 and 100 kg ha-1 a-1) and with four atmospheric CO2 concentrations (350, 700, 1000 and 2000 ppm) in greenhouse for 71–120 days. Thereafter, concentrations of total N, P, K, Ca and Mg in the capitulae of the Sphagna were determined. The response of each species to N deposition was related to ecological differences. With increasing N deposition treatments, moss N concentrations increased and higher N:P-ratios were found, the increase being especially clear at the highest N load. Sphagnum fuscum, which occupies ombrotrophic habitats, was the most affected by the increased nitrogen load and as a consequence the other elements were decreased. Oligotrophic S. magellanicum, wide nutrient status tolerant S. angustifolium and meso-eutrophic S. warnstorfii tolerated better increased N deposition, though there were increased concentrations of Ca and Mg in S. warnstorfii and Mg in S. magellanicum. Nitrogen and P concentrations decreased with raised CO2 concentrations, except for S. magellanicum. This seems to be the first time this kind of response in nutrient concentrations to enhanced CO2 concentration has been shown to exist in bryophytes. The concentration of K clearly decreased in S. fuscum as did the concentration of Mg in the other Sphagna with increasing CO2. Sphagnum angustifolium and S. magellanicum, which are the less specialized species, were the least affected by the CO2 treatments.