Accumulation of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in mosses

Mosses are particularly suitable for recording the accumulation of atmospheric substance inputs in large areas at relatively many locations. In Europe, this has been done every five years since 1990 as part of the European Moss Survey. Mosses were collected at up to 7312 sites in up to 34 countries and chemically analysed for heavy metals (since 1990), nitrogen (since 2005) and organic substances (since 2010).

In Germany, in addition to the measurement data from chemical analysis for each moss collection site, data of site and environmental characteristics that could have an influence on the accumulation of atmospheric deposition in mosses were collected. These potential predictors were included in the statistical analyses so that their significance could be identified and ordained according to their influence. For the 1990-2010 measurement campaigns, the corresponding investigations showed that atmospheric deposition, vegetation structure, crown deposition and land use are particularly closely linked to the variability of element accumulations in mosses. The calculations also show that, unlike most heavy metals, there is no decrease in nitrogen bioaccumulation.