Loss of plant species after chronic low-level nitrogen deposition to prairie grasslands

Rates of atmospheric deposition of biologically active nitrogen (N)are two to seven times the pre-industrial rates in many developed nations because of combustion of fossil fuels and agricultural fertilization. They are expected to increase similarly over the next 50 years in industrializing nations of Asia and South America. Although the environmental impacts of high rates of nitrogen addition have been well studied, this is not so for the lower, chronic rates that characterize much of the globe. Here we present