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J Biosci. 2013 Nov;38(4):761-76.

Growth and N2 fixation in an Alnus hirsuta (Turcz.) var. sibirica stand in Japan.

Author information

1
Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Tsukuba 305-8687, Japan, tobi@ffpri.affrc.go.jp.

Abstract

To estimate the N2 fixation ability of the alder (Alnus hirsuta (Turcz.) var. sibirica), we examined the seasonal variation in nitrogenase activity of nodules using the acetylene reduction method in an 18-year-old stand naturally regenerated after disturbance by road construction in Japan. To evaluate the contribution of N2 fixation to the nitrogen (N) economy in this alder stand, we also measured the phenology of the alder, the litterfall, the decomposition rate of the leaf litter, and N accumulation in the soil. The acetylene reduction activity per unit nodule mass (ARA) under field conditions appeared after bud break, peaked the maximum in midsummer after full expansion of the leaves, and disappeared after all leaves had fallen. There was no consistent correlation between ARA and tree size (dbh). The amount of N2 fixed in this alder stand was estimated at 56.4 kg ha-1 year-1 when a theoretical molar ratio of 3 was used to convert the amount of reduced acetylene to the amount of fixed N2. This amount of N2 fixation corresponded to the 66.4 percent of N in the leaf litter produced in a year. These results suggested that N2 fixation still contributed to the large portion of N economy in this alder stand.

PMID:
24287656
DOI:
10.1007/s12038-013-9369-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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