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Nutrient Limitations and Their Implications on the Effects of Atmospheric Deposition in Coastal Dunes; Lime-Poor and Lime-Rich Sites in the Netherlands

A. M. Kooijman, J. C. R. Dopheide, J. Sevink, I. Takken and J. M. Verstraten
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 86, No. 3 (Jun., 1998), pp. 511-526
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2648475
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Nutrient Limitations and Their Implications on the Effects of Atmospheric Deposition in Coastal Dunes; Lime-Poor and Lime-Rich Sites in the Netherlands
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Abstract

1 A survey of plant and soil parameters was carried out in dry dune grasslands along the Dutch coast in the lime- and iron-poor Wadden district and initially lime- and iron-rich Renodunaal district, in order to detect differences in nutrient availability related to soil characteristics and potential sensitivity to atmospheric deposition of nitrogen. 2 Plant biomass and phosphorus pools in the shoot were higher in the Wadden district. The low foliar nitrogen concentrations and nitrogen/phosphorus ratios in the Wadden district suggested nitrogen-limitation, while in the Renodunaal district there appeared to be a balanced supply of both nitrogen and phosphorus. 3 Soil pH, soil organic matter, soil nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations and total amounts were generally higher in the Renodunaal district. In both districts mineral phosphorus decreased with acidification and phosphorus oxalate (iron and aluminium bound) increased. 4 In the Wadden district iron is present primarily in iron-organic matter complexes, which leads to reversible binding of phosphorus. In the Renodunaal district large amounts of iron (hydr)oxides occur and at high pH may contribute to reversible phosphorus-sorption, but at low pH this probably leads to immobilization of phosphorus. 5 While pools of soil phosphorus are low in the Wadden district, the phosphorus availability may be relatively high due to the comparatively loose nature of phosphorus-sorption. As a result the area may be nitrogen-limited and grass-encroachment may thus have resulted from atmospheric deposition of nitrogen. 6 In the Renodunaal district, atmospheric deposition probably only accelerates grass-encroachment, because deposition of acid and nitrogen increases the availability of both nitrogen and phosphorus and maintains the `co-limitation'.

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