Send to

Choose Destination
Oecologia. 2009 Feb;159(1):1-13. doi: 10.1007/s00442-008-1188-6. Epub 2008 Oct 31.

Ecological ramifications of the direct foliar uptake of nitrogen.

Author information

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Corson Hall Room E149, Ithaca, NY, 14853-2701, USA.


The foliar incorporation of various reactive forms of nitrogen (N) has been identified and studied for nearly 30 years. However, the ecosystem-level ramifications of this uptake pathway have only recently been considered by the scientific community. In this review, I present our current understanding of the foliar uptake process and then discuss why this pathway of N addition to ecosystems should be considered separately from the bulk deposition of N to the soil surface. Direct foliar uptake is a direct addition of N to plant metabolism and could potentially more readily influence plant growth compared to soil-deposited N. Current ecosystem process models do not partition reactive N between foliar and soil entry pathways and the influence of N deposition on ecosystem C sequestration is likely inadequately represented in most models. I also outline several research priorities for the future understanding of the ecological consequences of foliar uptake of reactive N.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center