Forest mosses sensitively indicate nitrogen deposition in boreal background areas

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Salemaa , M , Kieloaho , A-J , Lindroos , A-J , Merilä , P , Poikolainen , J & Manninen , S 2020 , ' Forest mosses sensitively indicate nitrogen deposition in boreal background areas ' , Environmental Pollution , vol. 261 , 114054 .

Title: Forest mosses sensitively indicate nitrogen deposition in boreal background areas
Author: Salemaa, Maija; Kieloaho, Antti-Jussi; Lindroos, Antti-Jussi; Merilä, Päivi; Poikolainen, Jarmo; Manninen, Sirkku
Contributor organization: Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme
Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Date: 2020-06
Language: eng
Number of pages: 13
Belongs to series: Environmental Pollution
ISSN: 0269-7491
Abstract: Mosses take up nitrogen (N) mainly from precipitation through their surfaces, which makes them competent bioindicators of N deposition. We found positive relationships between the total N concentration (mossN%) of common terrestrial moss species (feather mosses Pleurozium schreberi and Hylocomium splendens, and a group of Dicranum species) and different forms of N deposition in 11-16 coniferous forests with low N deposition load in Finland. The mosses were collected either inside (Dicranum group) or both inside and outside (feather mosses) the forests. Deposition was monitored in situ as bulk deposition (BD) and stand throughfall (TF) and detected for ammonium (NH4+-N), nitrate (NO3--N), dissolved organic N (DON), and total N (N-tot, kg ha(-1)yr(-1)). N-tot deposition was lower in TF than BD indicating that tree canopies absorbed N from deposition in N limited boreal stands. However, mossN % was higher inside than outside the forests. In regression equations, inorganic N in BD predicted best the mossN% in openings, while DON in TF explained most variation of mossN% in forests. An asymptotic form of mossN% vs. TF N-tot curves in forests and free NH4+-N accumulation in tissues in the southern plots suggested mosses were near the N saturation state already at the N-tot deposition level of 3-5 kg ha(-1) yr(-1). N leachate from ground litterfall apparently also contributed the N supply of mosses. Our study yielded new information on the sensitivity of boreal mosses to low N deposition and their response to different N forms in canopy TF entering moss layer. The equations predicting the N-tot deposition with mossN% showed a good fit both in forest sites and openings, especially in case of P. schreberi. However, the open site mossN% is a preferable predictor of N deposition in monitoring studies to minimize the effect of tree canopies and N leachate from litterfall on the estimates. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Boreal forest
Canopy effect
Critical load
Dissolved organic nitrogen
1172 Environmental sciences
4112 Forestry
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by_nc_nd
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: acceptedVersion

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