Control of local nutrient dynamics in mires by regional and climatic factors: A comparison of Dutch and Polish sites

J. T A Verhoeven*, A Keuter, R. Van Logtestijn, M. B. Van Kerkhoven, M. Wassen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    1 We tested the influence of geographical gradients upon nutrient dynamics in the root environment of the vegetation of mires in north-eastern Poland and the Netherlands. The study areas show differences in the water level fluctuations, and atmospheric nitrogen deposition (the Netherlands, 50kg N ha-1 year-1; Poland, 5 10kg N ha-1 year-1). 2 Nitrogen and phosphorus mineralization, decomposition, denitrification and nitrous oxide emission were studied during 6 weeks in May June and correlated with characteristics of the interstitial water and the soil. Five types of mires (herbaceous bog, forested bog, herbaceous rich-fen, river marginal fen and alder fen forest) were compared. 3 Inorganic N as well as P release were faster in the Dutch than in the Polish mires of the same type. Denitrification and nitrous oxide emission were also faster in the Dutch mires, with the exception of the Polish alder forest, where denitrification was high because of high N richness and a strongly falling water table. 4 Principal component analysis of 18 physical and chemical soil and interstitial water variables resulted in four components: I, 'soil redox status'; II, 'soil base status'; III, 'interstitial water nutrient richness': IV, 'soil P richness'. In multiple regressions, N mineralization correlated positively with component III, P release with components III and IV, and cellulose decomposition with components II and IV. Both denitrification and nitrous oxide emission correlated positively with components I and II. 5 It was concluded that the lower P release rates in the Polish compared to the Dutch mires were due to higher calcium levels and lower summer water tables, which was partly attributed to the Polish continental climate. The higher rates for N mineralization, denitrification, nitrous oxide emission and cellulose decomposition in the Dutch sites were attributed to the high N deposition in the Netherlands.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)647-656
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Ecology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1996


    • atmospheric N deposition
    • nitrogen
    • phosphorus
    • soil chemistry
    • water chemistry
    • wetlands


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