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First Europe-wide correlation analysis identifying factors best explaining the total nitrogen concentration in mosses

By Winfried Schröder, Marcel Holy, Roland Pesch, Harry Harmens, Hilde Fagerli, Renate Alber, Mahmut Coşkun, Ludwig De Temmerman, Marina Frolova, Laura González-Miqueo, Zvonka Jeran, Eero Kubin, Sébastien Leblond, Siiri Liiv, Blanka Maňkovská, Juha Piispanen, Jesus M. Santamaría, Primoz Simonèiè, Ivan Suchara, Lilyana Yurukova, Lotti Thöni and Harald G. Zechmeister


In this study, the indicative value of mosses as biomonitors of atmospheric nitrogen (N) depositions and air concentrations on the one hand and site-specific and regional factors which explain best the total N concentration in mosses on the other hand were investigated for the first time at a European scale using correlation analyses. The analyses included data from mosses collected from 2781 sites across Europe within the framework of the European moss survey 2005/6, which was coordinated by the International Cooperative Programme on Effects of Air Pollution on Natural Vegetation and Crops (ICP Vegetation). Modelled atmospheric N deposition and air concentration data were calculated using the Unified EMEP Model of the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP) of the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP). The modelled deposition and concentration data encompass various N compounds. In order to assess the correlations between moss tissue total N concentrations and the chosen predictors, Spearman rank correlation analysis and Classification and Regression Trees (CART) were applied. The Spearman rank correlation analysis showed that the total N concentration in mosses and modelled N depositions and air concentrations are significantly correlated (0.53 ≤ rs ≤ 0.68, p < 0.001). Correlations with other predictors were lower than 0.55. The CART analysis indicated that the variation in the total N concentration in mosses was best explained by the variation in NH4+ concentrations in air, followed by NO2 concentrations in air, sampled moss species and total dry N deposition. The total N concentrations in mosses mirror land use-related atmospheric concentrations and depositions of N across Europe. In addition to already proven associations to measured N deposition on a local scale the study at hand gives a scientific prove on the association of N concentration in mosses and modelled deposition at the European scale.\ud \u

Topics: Atmospheric Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2010.06.024
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