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Publication Type J
Authors van Wijnen, H. J. and J. P. Bakker
Title Nitrogen and phosphorus limitation in a coastal barrier salt marsh: the implications for vegetation succession
Source Journal of Ecology
Author Keywords fertilization experiment herbivory nitrogen plant-species interactions plant succession PLANT-SPECIES COMPOSITION NUTRIENT LIMITATION ACCUMULATION PRODUCTIVITY COMMUNITIES PATTERNS PROLINE SOILS
Abstract 1 A factorial fertilizer experiment was conducted in a 15-year-old coastal barrier salt marsh with a low soil nitrogen content, and in an older 100-year-old marsh with a higher nitrogen content. Plots were fertilized at high and low marsh elevations in both marshes. Nitrogen and phosphorus were applied at low and high concentrations both separately and in combination in each of 3 successive years. 2 Nitrogen limited above-ground plant growth in both young and old salt marshes in all years. Phosphorus limitation of plant growth was apparent in the first year in the young marsh and in the last year in both marshes. In young marshes with low soil organic matter, phosphorus limitation may occur. In addition, phosphorus limitation occurs at both successional stages when a marsh is saturated with nitrogen. 3 Plant species that are typical of nitrogen-rich habitats and late successional stages significantly increased in biomass after fertilization. Limonium vulgare, a low stature species of early and intermediate successional stages, decreased in biomass, whereas the taller Elymus pycnanthus and Artemisia maritima increased. After 3 years of fertilization, plant species composition in a young marsh was similar to the species composition in an unfertilized older marsh. Fertilization of a 100-year-old marsh, however, still resulted in a change in plant species composition, suggesting that succession was still occurring and that, overall, plants in marshes of different age are similar in their response to fertilization.
Author Address Univ Groningen, Lab Plant Ecol, NL-9750 AA Haren, Netherlands. van Wijnen, HJ (reprint author), Univ Groningen, Lab Plant Ecol, POB 14, NL-9750 AA Haren, Netherlands.
ISSN 0022-0477
ISBN 0022-0477
Publication Date Apr
Year Published 1999
Volume 87
Issue 2
Beginning Page 265-272
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.1046/j.1365-2745.1999.00349.x
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000080162700008
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