Increase of nitrogen depositions, as oxidized (NOx) and reduced (NHx) compounds, has important implications on ecosystem nitrogen cycle. NOx comes predominantly from fossil fuel combustion in car engines and industrial processes, while agricultural activities (cattle farming, fertilizations) are the main sources for NHx emissions. Such fertilisations could stimulate growth and, therefore, productivity of forests, especially in temperate forests, where nitrogen is a limiting factor. On the other hand an excess of nitrogen can lead to an acidification of the soil and have a negative impact on the microbial fauna and structure of plants. NOx and NHx depositions can be separated with the help of stable isotopes with different 15 N-values reported for NOx originating from combustion sources. Consequently it was observed that the nitrogen isotopic composition of the vegetation reflects the isotopic signature of nitrogen sources. Our preliminary results on needles of Norway spruce trees exposed to NOx emissions along a transect perpendicular to a highway close to Faido and Brittnau show a clear isotopic enrichment in 15 N in trees growing closer to traffic pollution, indicating an uptake of atmospheric nitrogen by stomatal pathway. Carbon and oxygen isotopic composition measured in tree rings reveals the physiological response in plants. Trees more exposed to air pollution from traffic show an increase in δ13 C and δ18 O in tree rings, since mid sixties next to Erstfeld. This could mean a higher photosynthetic activity, enhanced by NOx traffic emissions, under low or not changed stomatal conductance. Our results confirm that stable isotopes of carbon, oxygen and nitrogen measured in needles and tree rings represent an important tool to monitor the impact of NOx load on tree physiology.

Impact of traffic on δ15N, δ13C and δ18O of needles and annual tree rings of Norway spruce (Picea abiesL.)

Guerrieri Maria Rosa
;
Cherubini Paolo
2006

Abstract

Increase of nitrogen depositions, as oxidized (NOx) and reduced (NHx) compounds, has important implications on ecosystem nitrogen cycle. NOx comes predominantly from fossil fuel combustion in car engines and industrial processes, while agricultural activities (cattle farming, fertilizations) are the main sources for NHx emissions. Such fertilisations could stimulate growth and, therefore, productivity of forests, especially in temperate forests, where nitrogen is a limiting factor. On the other hand an excess of nitrogen can lead to an acidification of the soil and have a negative impact on the microbial fauna and structure of plants. NOx and NHx depositions can be separated with the help of stable isotopes with different 15 N-values reported for NOx originating from combustion sources. Consequently it was observed that the nitrogen isotopic composition of the vegetation reflects the isotopic signature of nitrogen sources. Our preliminary results on needles of Norway spruce trees exposed to NOx emissions along a transect perpendicular to a highway close to Faido and Brittnau show a clear isotopic enrichment in 15 N in trees growing closer to traffic pollution, indicating an uptake of atmospheric nitrogen by stomatal pathway. Carbon and oxygen isotopic composition measured in tree rings reveals the physiological response in plants. Trees more exposed to air pollution from traffic show an increase in δ13 C and δ18 O in tree rings, since mid sixties next to Erstfeld. This could mean a higher photosynthetic activity, enhanced by NOx traffic emissions, under low or not changed stomatal conductance. Our results confirm that stable isotopes of carbon, oxygen and nitrogen measured in needles and tree rings represent an important tool to monitor the impact of NOx load on tree physiology.
Guerrieri Maria Rosa; Saurer Matthias; Siegwolf Rolf TW; Waldner Peter; Cherubini Paolo
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
0389-0030437_Guerrieri.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipo: Versione (PDF) editoriale
Licenza: Licenza per Accesso Aperto. Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale (CCBYNC)
Dimensione 661.67 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
661.67 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/735866
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact