Dr Simon Caporn, Chris Field, Nancy Dise, Richard Payne, Andrea Britton, Bridget Emmett, Rachel Helliwell, Steve Hughes, Laurence Jones, Steven Lees, Ian Leith, Lucy Sheppard, Gareth Phoenix, Sally Power, Georgina Southon, Carly Stevens
Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress
biodiversity, climate, peatlands, pollution
Theme I. Inventory, stratigraphy and conservation of mires and peatlands
A UK wide survey was conducted in 2009 to understand how atmospheric pollution influences botanical composition in important habitats. Five habitats were selected (bogs, moorlands and lowland heaths, along with acid grasslands and sand dunes) and spatial differences in vegetation were related to variations in air quality, climate and soils. A significant pattern of species richness reduction in relation to increasing atmospheric nitrogen deposition was found in all of the habitats and most of the plant groups. However, climate and sulphur deposition could sometimes explain more variation. In bogs, the decline in species richness associated with nitrogen deposition was less steep than in other habitats, suggesting the response to nitrogen is influenced by other factors such as site hydrology and management.