Journal article

Nutrient stoichiometry in Sphagnum along a nitrogen deposition gradient in highly polluted region of Central-East Europe

We investigated the variation of N:P and N:K ratio in ombrotrophic Sphagnum plants along a gradient of atmospheric N deposition from 1 to 2.5 g m(-2) year(-1) in Central-East Europe. The N:P and N:K ratio in Sphagnum capitula increased significantly along the N deposition gradient. Sphagnum species from the Cuspidata section were characterised by significantly lower ratios at low N deposition. When we compared the observed N:P ratios in Sphagnum plants with the values reported in a previous European-wide study, we found a correspondence in nutrient stoichiometry only for a few bogs: higher P concentration in Sphagnum capitula caused a lower N:P ratio in most of the study bogs so that Sphagnum plants still seem N-limited despite their N saturation. Interaction between summer water table decrease and aerial liming of surrounding forests is proposed as an explanation for this discrepancy. Local forestry practice interacting with climate thus alter N:P stoichiometry of Sphagnum along the N deposition gradient. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


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