Rapid nitrogen fixation by canopy microbiome in tropical forest determined by both phosphorus and molybdenum.
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, 08544, USA.
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55108, USA.
School of Geography and Priestley International Centre for Climate, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 95T, United Kingdom.
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Ancon, Panama.
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Services, Millbrook, New York, 12545, USA.
Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, 80523, USA.
- Published Article
- Publication Date
Sep 01, 2019
Biological nitrogen fixation is critical for the nitrogen cycle of tropical forests, yet we know little about the factors that control the microbial nitrogen fixers that colonize the microbiome of leaves and branches that make up a forest canopy. Forest canopies are especially prone to nutrient limitation because they are (1) disconnected from soil nutrient pools and (2) often subject to leaching. Earlier studies have suggested a role of phosphorus and molybdenum in controlling biological N-fixation rates, but experimental confirmation has hitherto been unavailable. Here we present the results of a manipulation of canopy nutrient availability. Our findings demonstrate a primary role of phosphorus in constraining overall N fixation by canopy cyanobacteria, but also a secondary role of molybdenum in determining per-cell fixation rates. A conservative evaluation suggests that canopy fixation can contribute to significant N fluxes at the ecosystem level, especially as bursts following atmospheric inputs of nutrient-rich dust. © 2019 by the Ecological Society of America.
Report this publication
From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
This record was last updated on 12/31/2019 and may not reflect the most current and accurate biomedical/scientific data available from NLM.
The corresponding record at NLM can be accessed at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31301692