DescriptionNitrogen deposition is affecting soil ecology worldwide by causing nutrient leaching and acidification. These biochemical changes can affect the soil microbial community, including mycorrhizal fungi, and subsequently the performance of plants. One of the plants that seems to suffer from high nitrogen deposition loads is the common juniper (Juniperus communis), which populations are declining due to a lack of rejuvenation. Using multiple field experiments we investigated the interactions between soil acidification, mycorrhizal fungi and junipers. We showed that by altering soil nutrient concentrations, N deposition 1) reduces positive effects of mycorrhiza on junipers, 2) reduces mycorrhizal fungi diversity in junipers’ rhizosphere, 3) deteriorate nutrient balance of leaves which are associated with plant growth and seed production. Restoration measures such as addition of lime + rock powder can restore soil pH and nutrient concentrations and thereby improve nutrient balance of juniper leaves and juniper rejuvenation as well. Besides these measures, it is crucial to reduce ongoing nitrogen pollution and safeguard juniper populations in north-western Europe.
|Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting 2022
|Netherlands Ecological Research Network (NERN)
|Degree of Recognition
Documents & Links