Harmens H, Schnyder E, Thöni L, Cooper D M, Mills G, Leblond S, Mohr K, Poikolainen J, Santamaria J, Skudnik M, Zechmeister H G, Lindroos A-J, Hanus-Illnar A (2014) Relationship between site-specific nitrogen concentrations in mosses and measured wet bulk atmospheric nitrogen deposition across Europe. Environmental Pollution, 194: 50-59. [http://dx.doi.org/10.101]


Biomonitoring;Moss survey;Bulk nitrogen deposition;Ammonium;Nitrate


To assess the relationship between nitrogen concentrations in mosses and wet bulk nitrogen deposition or concentrations in precipitation, moss tissue and deposition were sampled within a distance of 1 km of each other in seven European countries. Relationships for various forms of nitrogen appeared to be asymptotic, with data for different countries being positioned at different locations along the asymptotic relationship and saturation occurring at a wet bulk nitrogen deposition of ca. 20 kg N ha-1 yr-1. The asymptotic behaviour was more pronounced for ammonium-N than nitrate-N, with high ammonium deposition at German sites being most influential in providing evidence of the asymptotic behaviour. Within countries, relationships were only significant for Finland and Switzerland and were more or less linear. The results confirm previous relationships described for modelled total deposition. Nitrogen concentration in mosses can be applied to identify areas at risk of high nitrogen deposition at European scale.

LWF Classification

Network: LWF, Category: ISI,