Sunday, April 6, 2008

Low nitrogen levels reduce plant biodiversity too

Environmental Research Web: Low levels of atmospheric nitrogen – comparable to those found in many industrialized nations – may be leading to a gradual decrease in plant diversity over much of the globe, with a greater impact on ecosystems than previously thought.

The amount of nitrogen in the atmosphere has increased two to seven-fold since pre-industrialized times because of fossil-fuel combustion and the excessive use of agricultural fertilizers. It is expected to increase even further over the next 50 years, specially in Asia and Latin America. Although scientists have known for some time that high levels of nitrogen lead to losses in plant biodiversity, little is known about the impacts of low rates of nitrogen input....

Plant collage, "Bewareofdog," Wikimedia Commons

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