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We studied the testate amoebae in the moss Hylocomium splendens along an altitudinal gradient from 1000 to 2200 m asl. in the south-eastern Alps of Italy in relation to micro- and macro-nutrient content of moss plants. Three mountainous areas were chosen, two of them characterised by calcareous bedrock, the third by siliceous bedrock. A total of 25 testate(More)
Peat bogs have historically represented exceptional carbon (C) sinks because of their extremely low decomposition rates and consequent accumulation of plant remnants as peat. Among the factors favoring that peat accumulation, a major role is played by the chemical quality of plant litter itself, which is poor in nutrients and characterized by polyphenols(More)
Peatlands in the northern hemisphere have accumulated more atmospheric carbon (C) during the Holocene than any other terrestrial ecosystem, making peatlands long-term C sinks of global importance. Projected increases in nitrogen (N) deposition and temperature make future accumulation rates uncertain. Here, we assessed the impact of N deposition on peatland(More)
We investigated the variation of N:P and N:K ratio in ombrotrophic Sphagnum plants along a gradient of atmospheric N deposition from 1 to 2.5 g m(-2) year(-1) in Central-East Europe. The N:P and N:K ratio in Sphagnum capitula increased significantly along the N deposition gradient. Sphagnum species from the Cuspidata section were characterised by(More)
A survey of heavy metal deposition in the mountainous territories of Northern Italy was carried out in 1995-96. Moss samples (mainly Hylocomium splendens) were collected in a dense network of sites (about 3.2 sites/1000 km(2)) and the data of metal concentrations in moss tissues were statistically correlated with environmental and climatic factors, as well(More)
Alterations in snow cover driven by climate change may impact ecosystem functioning, including biogeochemistry and soil (microbial) processes. We elucidated the effects of snow cover manipulation (SCM) on above-and belowground processes in a temperate peatland. In a Swiss mountain-peatland we manipulated snow cover (addition, removal and control), and(More)
We determined trace metal concentrations in mature living tissues of the moss Hylocomium splendens, at different altitude, in the south-eastern Alps of Italy. We hypothesized that if precipitation does not vary with altitude trace element concentrations in moss tissues will not be affected by altitude. Contrary to our hypothesis, element concentrations did(More)
The ongoing expansion of shrub cover in response to climate change represents a unique opportunity to explore the link between soil microbial communities and vegetation changes. This link is particularly important in peatlands where shrub expansion is expected to feed back negatively on the carbon sink capacity of these ecosystems. Microbial community(More)
Concentrations of aliphatic acids, phenolic acid, and inorganic nutrients, as well as hormone-like activity, were determined in soil dissolved organic matter (DOM) from two forest sites in N Italy showing differing degrees of silver fir regeneration. In the site where silver fir recruitment was abundant, humification processes prevailed, and the soil DOM(More)
Peat mosses of the genus Sphagnum constitute the bulk of living and dead biomass in bogs. These plants contain peculiar polyphenols which hamper litter peat decomposition through their inhibitory activity on microbial breakdown. In the light of the increasing availability of biologically active nitrogen in natural ecosystems, litter derived from Sphagnum(More)