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The Herbaceous Layer in Forests of Eastern North America$
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Frank Gilliam

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199837656

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199837656.001.0001

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Effects of Excess Nitrogen Deposition on the Herbaceous Layer of Eastern North American Forests

Effects of Excess Nitrogen Deposition on the Herbaceous Layer of Eastern North American Forests

Chapter:
(p.445) 20 Effects of Excess Nitrogen Deposition on the Herbaceous Layer of Eastern North American Forests
Source:
The Herbaceous Layer in Forests of Eastern North America
Author(s):

Frank S. Gilliam

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199837656.003.0020

This chapter examines the effects of excess nitrogen (N) on the herb layer of forests, reviewing recent pertinent literature from both North America and Europe. It shows that excess N has the potential to substantially alter species composition and decrease biodiversity of the herbaceous layer of forests of eastern North America, and does so in ways that are distinctive from other forms of forest disturbance. Numerous studies confirm that increasing N in forests from N limitation to N saturation can not only alter soil N biogeochemistry and deplete nutrient cations, but it can also (1) alter competition to give advantages to fewer nitrophilous species; (2) increase intensity and degree of herbivory; (3) increase frequency of mycorrhizal infection; (4) increase occurrence and severity of fungal pathogens; and (5) enhance species invasions.

Keywords:   herbaceous layer, herb layer, forest ecosystems, excess nitrogen, forest disturbance

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