Detecting the footprint of changing atmospheric nitrogen deposition loads on acid grasslands in the context of climate change

Année de publication



Global Change Biology 17 3351 3365 11


Although atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition and climate changes are both recognized as major components of global change, their interaction at ecosystem level is less well understood. A stratified resampling approach was used to investigate the potential impact of changing levels of atmospheric nitrogen deposition and climate change on species composition of nutrient‐poor acid grasslands within the French Atlantic Domain (FAD). The study was based on a comparison, over a period of 25 years, of 162 past and present vegetation records assigned to the species‐rich Nardus grasslands and distributed in regional community types (CTs). Similarly, the characterization of N deposition and climate was stratified according to (i) past (1980–1990) and present (1995–2005) periods, and (ii) FAD and CT scales. Despite the relatively short time span between sampling periods, significant N deposition and climate changes were detected as well as vegetation changes. Correspondence analysis showed that the relative importance of N deposition and climate in explaining vegetation changes depended on the spatial scale of investigation (FAD vs. local CTs) and the CT. At the FAD scale, the increase of annual mean temperature and decrease of water availability were clearly related to the changes in floristic composition. At the local scale, the most stable CT experienced no significant climate change and a stable load of N deposition, whereas the CTs characterized by the largest floristic changes were associated with dramatic climate changes and moderate loads in both oxidized and reduced N deposition. Despite the narrow gradient of deposition investigated, N deposition was related to significant grassland community changes, depending on the region, i.e. climate context, and on whether N deposition was in the oxidized or reduced form. Our results suggest that N deposition drives grassland composition at the local scale, in interaction with climate, whereas climate changes remain the predominant driver at the FAD scale.

Type de publication
  • journal
Type de document
  • article
Classification - Inist-CNRS
    Classification - Scopus
    • 1 - Physical Sciences
    • 2 - Environmental Science
    • 3 - General Environmental Science
    • 3 - Ecology
    • 3 - Environmental Chemistry
    • 3 - Global and Planetary Change
    Classification - Science Metrix
    • 1 - natural sciences
    • 2 - biology
    • 3 - ecology
    Classification - Clarivate Analytics (Subject Category)
    • 1 - science
    • 2 - environmental sciences
    • 2 - ecology
    • 2 - biodiversity conservation
    Termes extraits

    grassland; global change biology; deposition; ecosystem; fest; aven; vegetation records; nitrogen deposition; oxidized; present vegetation records; nard; vegetation; blackwell publishing; climate change; bobbink; climatic; dataset; agro; past vegetation records; aquitaine; emep; precipitation; pres; psec; oristic; biodiversity; festuca; environmental pollution; climate changes; ecology; acid grasslands; galloway; foucault; nardus; fagerli; resampling; species composition; agrostis; french atlantic domain; vegetation changes; eutrophication; water availability; evapotranspiration; fest sites; annual precipitation; local scale; aven sites; arnica montana; species richness; abundance variation; correspondence analysis; global; vegetation science; climatic changes; molinia caerulea; interactive effects; potential evapotranspiration; forest ecology; critical loads; oristic composition; climate variables; present data; decimal degrees; standard error; survey region; community type level; present dataset; atmospheric nitrogen; species occurrence; total variation; climatic variables; nardus stricta; avenula pratensis; danthonia decumbens; plant communities; gentiana lutea; indirect effects; deposition impacts; high levels; deposition levels; atmospheric deposition; highest loads; local variation; nardus grasslands; atmospheric nitrogen deposition; global change; plant species; luzula campestris; ecological; vascular plants; domin scale; total number; colorometric determination; short time span; deionized water; elementar model; soil texture; deposition data; european mapping; emissions programme; european scale; annual temperature; phytosociological association; characteristic species; wedin tilman; global nitrogen cycle; resampling approach; simethis planifolia; heischrale graslanden; grey bars; statistical analysis; climatic data; carex pilulifera; indicator species; second correspondence analysis; environmental variables; calluna vulgaris; galium saxatile; community type; base cation depletion; temporal changes; intensive agriculture; sheppard leith; psec sites; geographical coordinates; background levels; community composition; ecological factors; asphodelus albus; genista sagitallis; vegetation type; haveman janssen; negative part; soil nitrate content; lowest level; past data; geographical location; distribution pres; genista pilosa; french atlantic acid grasslands; industrial activities; spatial scale; spatial variations; deposition changes; recent years; achermann bobbink; predominant driver; climate warming; scale effect; turner henry; climate interactions; rare species; atmospheric environment; ecological applications; documents phytosociologiques; terrestrial ecosystems; frost hardiness; spatial variation; primary productivity; national academy; carbon sequestration; grid reference; deposition rates; ecological monographs; european acid grasslands; biological diversity; transboundary eutrophication; ground level ozone; emep status report; spatial interpolation; nitrogen; blackwell

    Entité nommée
    Entité nommée - Emplacement géographique
    • UK
    • Rennes
    • Narbonne
    • Europe
    • Toulouse
    • Metz
    • United Kingdom
    • Lancaster
    • Arcachon
    • France
    • Netherlands
    Entité nommée - Organisme
    • Lancaster University, Lancaster
    • NEGTAP
    • R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienne, Austria
    • Eutech Instruments
    • Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
    • UK Abstract Although
    • European Mapping and Emissions Programme (EMEP)
    • IPCC
    • Blackwell Publishing Ltd
    Entité nommée - Personne
    Herman Stieperaere; Concentrations; Paul Verlaine; Milton Keynes; Can; Didier Alard; Bruno de Foucault; AVEN Viscario; Laurence Galsomies; Graham Howell; David Gowing; Edu Dorland; Michel Botineau
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