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"British Wildlife is the pulsating heart of the UK nature conservation movement"

Matthew Oates, National Trust

"The most important and informative publication on wildlife of our times"

Michael McCarthy, The Independent

"Packed with readable, thoughtful, up to date articles; written by ecologists and naturalists for ecologists and naturalists"

Nick Baker, Presenter and Naturalist

From issue:   Issue:   British Wildlife 32.6 May 2021

Nitrogen – the overlooked environmental pollutant

By - Sam Bosanquet

Reactive nitrogen levels are rising, with severe impacts on the environment. But this has gone relatively unnoticed as attentions have been focused on other environmental issues, such as the effects of climate change. Here, Sam Bosanquet highlights the sources of nitrogen pollution, the role of lichens in our understanding of the consequences of nitrogen pollution, and the wider ecosystem impacts.

For the last century, since the invention of the Haber–Bosch process to convert (‘fix’) atmospheric nitrogen (N) into ammonia (NH3), conservationists have been sleepwalking into a crisis. While we focused on pesticides, acid rain, the ozone layer, habitat loss and climate change, levels of reactive N have gone up and up, and much of our remaining semi-natural habitat is now suffering N enrichment that has profound effects on species composition.

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More from 'BW 32.6 - May 2021 '

"British Wildlife is the pulsating heart of the UK nature conservation movement."

Matthew Oates, National Trust

"The most important and informative publication on wildlife of our times"

Michael McCarthy, The Independent

"Packed with readable, thoughtful, up to date articles; written by ecologists and naturalists for ecologists and naturalists"

Nick Baker, Presenter and Naturalist