Metabolic fingerprinting for bio-indication of nitrogen responses in Calluna vulgaris heath communities

Eleanor A. Gidman, Royston Goodacre, Bridget Emmett, Deirdre B. Wilson, Jacky A. Carroll, Simon J M Caporn, Neil Cresswell, Dylan Gwynn-Jones

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Increased atmospheric deposition of (N) over the last 50 years is knoen to have led to deleteroius effects on the health of Calluna vulgaris healthland, with increased proliferation of grasses and loss of species diversity. However, currently it is difficult to attribute damage specially to N deposition rather than other drivers of change such as inappropriate management. Metabolic fingerprinting using FT-IR offers a rapid, cost-effective and "holistic" means for quantifying foliar biochemistry responses specially to N deposition. To test the potential of this approach we used a long term lowland health N Addition study in cheshire, Englaand. FT-IR spectra of treated C. vulgaris shoot material showed that responses were detectable above 20 kg N ha-1 year-1. Differentiation was also evident in C. vulgaris metabolic fingerprints due to additional watering. we have shown that FT-IR is able to identify biochemical variation in C. vulgaris related to increase in received N and water. This technique therefore provides a sensitive measure of biochemical change in response to N addition, and allows development rowards predictive modeling of N deposition at the landscape level. © Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)279-285
    Number of pages6
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


    • Bio-indication
    • Calluna vulgaris
    • FT-IR
    • Metabolic fingerprinting
    • Nitrogen


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