Effects of elevated H+, SO42-, NO3-, and NH4+ in simulated acid precipitation on the growth and chlorophyll content of 3 North American Sphagnum species.

Acid precipitation has been implicated as causing the loss of Sphagnum species, and thus of Sphagnum peatlands from the southern Pennines in Great Britain. Thus, the effects of pH, SO4 2-, NO3 - and NH4 +, at levels feasible for acid precipitation in eastern North America, on the growth and chlorophyll contents of Sphagnum fallax, S. henryense and S. pulchrum were evaluated in 40-50 day laboratory studies. Growth responses were species-specific, and also differed between two populations of S. pulchrum collected from different locations. In general, growth was not correlated with chlorophyll concentrations. If the acidity in precipitation lowers wetland pH values to 3 or less, growth of Sphagnum species in general will be inhibited. Otherwise, our results do not suggest that elevated concentrations of H+, SO4 2-, NO3 - and NH4 + in acid precipitation will have severe negative short-term effects on Sphagnum growth, at least for these 3 species.

Main Author: Austin, Kelly.
Other Authors: Wieder, R Kelman.
Language: English
Published: 1987
Online Access: http://ezproxy.villanova.edu/login?url=https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:179291