Climatic modifiers of the response to nitrogen deposition in peat-forming Sphagnum mosses: a meta-analysis

J. Limpens, G. Granath, U. Gunnarson, M.R. Hoosbeek, M.M.P.D. Heijmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

• Peatlands in the northern hemisphere have accumulated more atmospheric carbon (C) during the Holocene than any other terrestrial ecosystem, making peatlands long-term C sinks of global importance. Projected increases in nitrogen (N) deposition and temperature make future accumulation rates uncertain.• Here, we assessed the impact of N deposition on peatland C sequestration potential by investigating the effects of experimental N addition on Sphagnum moss. We employed meta-regressions to the results of 107 field experiments, accounting for sampling dependence in the data.• We found that high N loading (comprising N application rate, experiment duration, background N deposition) depressed Sphagnum production relative to untreated controls. The interactive effects of presence of competitive vascular plants and high tissue N concentrations indicated intensified biotic interactions and altered nutrient stochiometry as mechanisms underlying the detrimental N effects. Importantly, a higher summer temperature (mean for July) and increasedannual precipitation intensified the negative effects of N. The temperature effect was comparable to an experimental application of almost 4 g N m-2 yr-1 for each 1°C increase.• Our results indicate that current rates of N deposition in a warmer environment will strongly inhibit C sequestration by Sphagnum-dominated vegetation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-507
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume191
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • global change
  • nutritional constraints
  • terrestrial ecosystems
  • carbon accumulation
  • species richness
  • ombrotrophic bog
  • vascular plants
  • n deposition
  • water-table
  • growth

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Climatic modifiers of the response to nitrogen deposition in peat-forming Sphagnum mosses: a meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this