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Soil chemistry of local vegetation gradients in sandy calcareous grasslands

  • Linda-Maria Mårtensson
  • Pål Axel Olsson
Publishing year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 127-138
Publication/Series: Plant Ecology
Volume: 206
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

Acidification and N-deposition are continuous processes that alter the composition of plant communities. We investigated vegetation transitions in sandy grasslands and tested two hypotheses: (1) a shift from vegetation dominated by Koeleria glauca to one dominated by Corynephorus canescens is due to acidification and (2) a shift from vegetation dominated by K. glauca to one dominated by Arrhenatherum elatius is due to increased mineral-N. The occurrence of K. glauca and C. canescens followed pH shifts strikingly well. However, the pH varied considerably between sites, and we found that differences in preference for bare sand may be important for the coexistence of these two species at both high and low pH. In 75% of the gradients, the dominance of A. elatius was related to high content of mineral-N. Most species preferred lime-rich soils and we concluded that both N-enrichment and acidification may lead to loss of species in calcareous sandy grasslands.


  • Ecology
  • enrichment
  • Succession
  • N
  • Sand steppe
  • Decalcification
  • Sandy grasslands
  • Acidification


  • BECC
  • ISSN: 1573-5052
Pål Axel Olsson
E-mail: pal_axel [dot] olsson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se



+46 46 222 42 47



Research group

Plant Biology



Doctoral students and postdocs

PhD students, main supervisor

Theodor Kindeberg

PhD students, assistant supervisor