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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 61 No. 4, p. 521-523
    Received: Nov 29, 1968



Fixation of Atmospheric Nitrogen by Nonlegumes in Wet Mountain Meadows1

  1. L. K. Porter2 and
  2. A. R. Grable2



Mountain soils subjected to excessive irrigation and high water tables accumulate organic matter in sod mats. Meadow soils often contain two or three times more N than equal areas of adjacent dry soils. Symbiotic nitrogen fixation by legumes is one possible source of N for sod mat formation. Fixation of N2 by free-living organisms has also been postulated and was verified by the laboratory studies reported here. Nitrogen fixation by sod mats containing no legumes was determined at 18C in atmospheres containing N215 Both photosynthetic and nonphotosynthetic organisms appeared to fix N2. In 10 days, mats in the dark fixed from 0.76 to 1.90 kg N2 ha−1 and illuminated mats fixed from 3.72 to 6.86 kg N ha−1.

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