Impacts of Nitrogen Deposition on VegetationInorganic N deposition from JNCC report 447

There are a number of broadscale vegetation surveillance datasets in the UK, but many have not been fully analysed in relation to nitrogen deposition from air pollution. In response to a recommendation in the surveillance strategy, JNCC funded a major analysis of broadscale vegetation datasets in order to investigate the impact of nitrogen deposition. Use of existing datasets allowed surveillance questions to be answered efficiently.

The study clearly demonstrated significant changes in the abundance of individual species and variables describing habitat structure and function as a result of N deposition.  This, together with previous evidence from surveys and experiments, provides clear evidence of species-level impacts of N deposition in all four of the habitats investigated. 

The study is published in two parts: 

JNCC Report 447: focuses on the analytical methods and the results.

JNCC Report 449: takes the results of the new analysis, together with other sources of independent evidence, and interprets the findings in respect of implications for “conservation commitments”. 

Information is also available on a nitrogen impacts and vegetation workshop held by JNCC in 2009 to inform this study.