Monitoring nitrogen accumulation in mosses in central European forests
In order to assess whether nitrogen (N) loads in mosses reflect different land uses, 143 sites in North Rhine-Westphalia, the Weser-Ems Region and the Euro Region Nissa were sampled between 2000 and 2005. The data were analysed statistically with available surface information on land use and forest conditions. N bioaccumulation in mosses in the Weser-Ems Region with high densities of agricultural land use and livestock exceeded the concentrations in the more industrialised Euro Region Nissa. In all three study areas agricultural and livestock spatial densities were found to be positively correlated with N bioaccumulation in mosses. In North Rhine-Westphalia, the N concentrations in mosses was also moderately correlated with N concentrations in leaves and needles of forest trees. The moss method proved useful to assess the spatial patterns of N bioaccumulation due to land use.
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