The Ozegahara peatland, in the Nikko-Oze National Park in Japan, is ecologically significant because of its oligotrophic environment; it is one of the most strictly preserved areas in the country. The isotope ratio of nitrogen (15N/14N) and carbon (13C/12C) and C/N ratio of peat moss (Sphagnum spp.) and sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) in the peatland were analyzed. The correlation of the isotope ratio with some parameters (sundew population density, number of trapped insects, water level, bog myrtle coverage, and visitor density) was investigated. The nitrogen isotope ratio of sundew showed the most significant covariation with visitor density, where sundew from lunch areas or along busy walkways showed a higher nitrogen isotope ratio. The nitrogen isotope ratio of peat moss covaried, not only with route traffic frequency but also with water level, bog myrtle coverage, and number of trapped insects by sundew, indicating that factors other than the visitor level influence the local nitrogen cycle. This study suggests that the nitrogen imported into the peatland by visitors is a principal factor to be monitored for the maintenance of the natural environment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science(all)
- Environmental Chemistry