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UC Davis researcher leads climate-change discovery
Date:6/18/2008

unt of nitrogen. This higher cost would offset the benefit of nitrogen fixation in temperate forests, despite low-nitrogen soils.

In tropical forests, it's the link between nitrogen and phosphorus that explains the abundance of nitrogen-fixing species.

"Many tropical forest soils are severely depleted in phosphorus, even where nitrogen is relatively abundant," said Houlton. "The extra nitrogen added to the soil by nitrogen-fixers helps mobilize phosphorus, making it easier for roots to absorb. That stimulates the growth of these plant species and puts them at a competitive advantage, despite the energetic cost of nitrogen fixation."


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Contact: Benjamin Houlton
bzhoulton@ucdavis.edu
530-752-2210
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert

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