Nitrogen Fixation (Acetylene Reduction) Associated with Decaying Leaves of Pond Cypress (Taxodium distichum var. nutans) in a Natural and a Sewage-Enriched Cypress Dome.

Center for Wetlands and Department of Environmental Engineering Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fłorida 32611.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology (Impact Factor: 3.95). 06/1981; 41(6):1413-8.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Surface litter from a natural and a sewage-enriched cypress dome in north-central Florida showed a pronounced seasonal pattern of nitrogenase (acetylene reduction) activity associated with seasonal leaf fall from deciduous trees in the domes. Samples of peat from cores indicated negligible nitrogenase activity below the surface layer. Integrating the monthly rates of nitrogen fixation (based on the theoretical molar ratio of 3:2 for C(2)H(4)/NH(3)) yielded 0.39 and 0.12 g of N/m per year fixed in the litter of the natural and sewage-enriched domes, respectively. The nitrogen fixed in the first 3 months after leaf fall in the natural dome represented about 14% of the nitrogen increment in the decomposing cypress leaves, but fixation contributed a negligible amount of nitrogen (<1%) to decomposing litter in the sewage-enriched dome.

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    ABSTRACT: Nitrogen fixation is mediated by a variety of autotrophic and heterotrophic bacteria. Cyano- bacteria appear responsible for most planktonic fixation in aquatic ecosystems, and rates of fixation are high only when thcsc organisms make up a major percentage of the planktonic biomass, Planktonic nitrogen fixation tends to be low in oligotrophic and mesotrophic lakes (generally 20% of the nitrogen input to the Asko region of the Baltic Sea and 17% of the nitrogen input to the Peel- Harvey estuary in Australia. Fixation in sediments of estuaries and eutrophic and mesotrophic lakes usually constitutes a small percentage of the nitrogen inputs to these systems. However, benthic fixation appears to be a major source of nitrogen for many oligotrophic tropical lagoons and for some oligotrophic lakes, even though fixation rates are moderate because other nitrogen inputs tend to be low. Nitrogen fixation probably is a fairly minor input of nitrogen to marine wetlands, which are generally open to other inputs, but contributes roughly half the total nitrogen input to some freshwater wetlands (bogs, cypress domes), where other inputs are more limited. Nitrogen fixation appears important in making up deficits in nitrogen availability relative to phosphorus availability in many lakes, contributing to the phosphorus-limited status of these systems. That many estuaries and coastal seas are nitrogen limited is due in part to the generally low rates of nitrogen fixation found in these systems.
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