Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 65952
Title Soil acidity and nutrient supply ratio as possible factors determining changes in plant species diversity in grassland and heathland communities
Author(s) Roem, W.; Berendse, F.
Source Biological Conservation 92 (2000). - ISSN 0006-3207 - p. 151 - 161.
Department(s) Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2000
Abstract To elucidate the causes of the sharp decline in plant species diversity in heathland and nutrient-poor grasslands in The Netherlands, we investigated the spatial variation in plant species richness and the abundance of threatened plant species in relation to soil acidity and soil nutrient supply ratio. We selected 68 plots divided equally between species-rich and species-poor parts of the study area, and collected data on soil characteristics, above-ground biomass and vegetation composition in each plot. In addition, we used phytometers planted with Molinia caerulea tillers to measure the nutrient supply in the soil. Soil acidity was the variable most strongly correlated with plant species diversity in heathland and grassland communities. We found that increased N:P and N:K ratios in plant biomass had additional negative effects. The Red List species in the data set and all other species that had been declining sharply in the Netherlands since 1950 were growing in soils with pH >5 and most were growing in soils with balanced nutrient supply ratios.
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