Plant Ecology

, Volume 151, Issue 2, pp 129–141

Bryophyte biomass and species richness on the Park Grass Experiment, Rothamsted, UK

  • R. Virtanen
  • A.E. Johnston
  • M.J. Crawley
  • G.R. Edwards
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1026533418357

Cite this article as:
Virtanen, R., Johnston, A., Crawley, M. et al. Plant Ecology (2000) 151: 129. doi:10.1023/A:1026533418357
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Abstract

The relationships between bryophyte biomass and species richness and soil pH, nutrient applications and vascular plant biomass and species richness were analyzed for the Park Grass Experiment (Rothamsted, UK). The study examined the abundance of bryophytes in relation to long-term fertilizer and lime application and to fertilizer treatments recently being ceased on some plots. The probability of bryophytes being present on a plot increased with increasing soil pH, and on plots at soil pH 3.3–4.5, the lowest values in this experiment, there were virtually no mosses present. Total bryophyte biomass decreased with increasing vascular plant biomass and vascular plant richness. Both bryophyte biomass and species richness showed a curvilinear response to soil pH. Bryophyte biomass was markedly increased on plots where nitrogen (N) fertilization had recently been ceased. The abundance of the common bryophyte species showed individualistic responses to treatments. N had a negative effect on the abundance of Brachythecium rutabulum. Increasing soil pH, and the application of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) fertilizer together, had a positive effect on Eurhynchium praelongum. This species was also negatively affected by N, but tolerated larger amounts of it (100–150 kg ha−1 N) than B. rutabulum. An ephemeral moss, Bryum subapiculatum, had a unimodal response to soil pH but showed no response to N, P, K or other explanatory variables.

pH Acidity Community Diversity Grassland Long-term effect Nutrients Transient dynamics 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Virtanen
  • A.E. Johnston
  • M.J. Crawley
  • G.R. Edwards

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