Empirical and simulated critical loads for nitrogen deposition in California mixed conifer forests

M. E. Fenn, S. Jovan, F. Yuan, L. Geiser, Thomas Meixner, B. S. Gimeno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

93 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Empirical critical loads (CL) for N deposition were determined from changes in epiphytic lichen communities, elevated NO3- leaching in streamwater, and reduced fine root biomass in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws.) at sites with varying N deposition. The CL for lichen community impacts of 3.1 kg ha-1 year-1 is expected to protect all components of the forest ecosystem from the adverse effects of N deposition. Much of the western Sierra Nevada is above the lichen-based CL, showing significant changes in lichen indicator groups. The empirical N deposition threshold and that simulated by the DayCent model for enhanced NO3-leaching were 17 kg N ha-1 year-1. DayCent estimated that elevated NO3- leaching in the San Bernardino Mountains began in the late 1950s. Critical values for litter C:N (34.1), ponderosa pine foliar N (1.1%), and N concentrations (1.0%) in the lichen Letharia vulpina ((L.) Hue) are indicative of CL exceedance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)492-511
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume155
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2008

Fingerprint

Coniferophyta
Lichens
critical load
Pinus ponderosa
lichen
coniferous tree
Nitrogen
nitrogen
Leaching
leaching
streamwater
fine root
Biomass
Ecosystems
forest ecosystem
Ecosystem
litter
Forests
mountain
biomass

Keywords

  • Atmospheric deposition
  • Biomonitoring
  • Ecosystem protection
  • Epiphytic lichens
  • Harmful effects
  • Nitrogen saturation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pollution

Cite this

Empirical and simulated critical loads for nitrogen deposition in California mixed conifer forests. / Fenn, M. E.; Jovan, S.; Yuan, F.; Geiser, L.; Meixner, Thomas; Gimeno, B. S.

In: Environmental Pollution, Vol. 155, No. 3, 10.2008, p. 492-511.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fenn, M. E. ; Jovan, S. ; Yuan, F. ; Geiser, L. ; Meixner, Thomas ; Gimeno, B. S. / Empirical and simulated critical loads for nitrogen deposition in California mixed conifer forests. In: Environmental Pollution. 2008 ; Vol. 155, No. 3. pp. 492-511.
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