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Biodiversity of Acid Grasslands in the Atlantic Regions of Europe: The Impact of Nitrogen Deposition

Abstract

Reduction in the species richness of acid grasslands along a gradient of atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition has previously been demonstrated in the UK (Stevens, Dise, Mountford, Gowing, Science 303:1876–1879, 2004). Further surveys of acid grasslands in the UK confirm this relationship. This chapter reports an examination of the relationship across the Atlantic region of Europe. Examining the cover of functional groups across this gradient reveals that forb cover is strongly reduced along the gradient of N deposition.

Keywords

  • Atmospheric nitrogen deposition
  • Functional group cover
  • Grass: forb ratio
  • Plant species richness
  • Violion caninae grassland

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Acknowledgments

This project was funded by the European Science Foundation through the EuroDiversity programme, and national funds were provided by DfG (Germany), NERC (United Kingdom), NWO (The Netherlands) and INRA, ADEME and Aquitaine Region (France). We are grateful to everyone who assisted with field and laboratory work, and to the conservation agencies and land owners who gave permission for sampling.

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Correspondence to Carly J. Stevens .

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Stevens, C. et al. (2014). Biodiversity of Acid Grasslands in the Atlantic Regions of Europe: The Impact of Nitrogen Deposition. In: Sutton, M., Mason, K., Sheppard, L., Sverdrup, H., Haeuber, R., Hicks, W. (eds) Nitrogen Deposition, Critical Loads and Biodiversity. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-7939-6_26

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