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Quantifying nitrogen-fixation in feather moss carpets of boreal forests
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Plant Physiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0536-903X
2002 (English)In: Nature, ISSN 0028-0836, E-ISSN 1476-4687, Vol. 419, no 6910, 917-920 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Biological nitrogen (N) fixation is the primary source of N within natural ecosystems(1), yet the origin of boreal forest N has remained elusive. The boreal forests of Eurasia and North America lack any significant, widespread symbiotic N-fixing plants(1-6). With the exception of scattered stands of alder in early primary successional forests(7), N-fixation in boreal forests is considered to be extremely limited. Nitrogen-fixation in northern European boreal forests has been estimated(2) at only 0.5 kg Nha(-1) yr(-1); however, organic N is accumulated in these ecosystems at a rate of 3 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1) (ref. 8). Our limited understanding of the origin of boreal N is unacceptable given the extent of the boreal forest region, but predictable given our imperfect knowledge of N-fixation(1,9). Herein we report on a N-fixing symbiosis between a cyanobacterium (Nostoc sp.) and the ubiquitous feather moss, Pleurozium schreberi (Bird) Mitt. that alone fixes between 1.5 and 2.0 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1) in mid- to late-successional forests of northern Scandinavia and Finland. Previous efforts have probably underestimated N-fixation potential in boreal forests.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 419, no 6910, 917-920 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-44757DOI: 10.1038/nature01051ISI: 000178909700041OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-44757DiVA: diva2:424370
Available from: 2011-06-17 Created: 2011-06-09 Last updated: 2017-12-11

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