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Feather moss nitrogen acquisition across natural fertility gradients in boreal forests

Rousk, Kathrin ; Rousk, Johannes LU ; Jones, Davey L. ; Zackrisson, Olle and DeLuca, Thomas H. (2013) In Soil Biology & Biochemistry 61. p.86-95
Abstract
Feather mosses utilize various sources of nitrogen (N): they absorb N deposited on leaf tissue, they host N-2 fixing cyanobacteria, and they are able to take up N directly from soil. In addition to their importance as primary producers in boreal ecosystems, feather mosses play a significant role in N cycling. However, estimates of their ability to take up N from soil in situ are scarce. Further, connecting uptake of N from soil with N-2 fixation could significantly improve our understanding of their role in ecosystem N cycling, but to date this issue has not been addressed. We report results from an uptake experiment in which we tracked C-13-carbon (C), N-15-alanine and N-15-ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) into feather moss (Pleurozium schreberi... (More)
Feather mosses utilize various sources of nitrogen (N): they absorb N deposited on leaf tissue, they host N-2 fixing cyanobacteria, and they are able to take up N directly from soil. In addition to their importance as primary producers in boreal ecosystems, feather mosses play a significant role in N cycling. However, estimates of their ability to take up N from soil in situ are scarce. Further, connecting uptake of N from soil with N-2 fixation could significantly improve our understanding of their role in ecosystem N cycling, but to date this issue has not been addressed. We report results from an uptake experiment in which we tracked C-13-carbon (C), N-15-alanine and N-15-ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) into feather moss (Pleurozium schreberi (Brid.) Mitt.)-soil cores taken along natural fertility gradients in Northern Sweden. The varying fertility conditions coincided with a N-2 fixation gradient in the feather moss. We found that P. schreberi takes up C and N directly from soil. However, the moss did not show a preference for inorganic or organic N sources and only 1.4% of the added amino acid appeared to be taken up from soil in an intact form. No differences in uptake of C or N from soil along the fertility gradients were detected. Nitrogen fixation rates in the moss were thus not correlated with C or N-uptake from soil. Nitrogen fixation as well as uptake of C and N from soil seem to be unaffected by C or N availability in the soil, suggesting that the moss can cover its nutrient demand by absorption of throughfall N and via associated N-2-fixing cyanobacteria without soil-N supplementation. We suggest further, that the moss can represent a (temporary) N-sink in the boreal forest, and that the moss' mechanism of uptake and release thereby will characterize the ecosystem N cycle. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. (Less)
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organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Acetylene reduction, Bryophytes, Cyanobacteria, Microbial community, N, deposition, N limitation, Organic nitrogen
in
Soil Biology & Biochemistry
volume
61
pages
86 - 95
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000318140300010
  • scopus:84875273066
ISSN
0038-0717
DOI
10.1016/j.soilbio.2013.02.011
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
bafb855f-88e5-4a04-ad54-595955b99fbb (old id 3843153)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 14:10:27
date last changed
2021-01-28 02:15:20
@article{bafb855f-88e5-4a04-ad54-595955b99fbb,
  abstract     = {Feather mosses utilize various sources of nitrogen (N): they absorb N deposited on leaf tissue, they host N-2 fixing cyanobacteria, and they are able to take up N directly from soil. In addition to their importance as primary producers in boreal ecosystems, feather mosses play a significant role in N cycling. However, estimates of their ability to take up N from soil in situ are scarce. Further, connecting uptake of N from soil with N-2 fixation could significantly improve our understanding of their role in ecosystem N cycling, but to date this issue has not been addressed. We report results from an uptake experiment in which we tracked C-13-carbon (C), N-15-alanine and N-15-ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) into feather moss (Pleurozium schreberi (Brid.) Mitt.)-soil cores taken along natural fertility gradients in Northern Sweden. The varying fertility conditions coincided with a N-2 fixation gradient in the feather moss. We found that P. schreberi takes up C and N directly from soil. However, the moss did not show a preference for inorganic or organic N sources and only 1.4% of the added amino acid appeared to be taken up from soil in an intact form. No differences in uptake of C or N from soil along the fertility gradients were detected. Nitrogen fixation rates in the moss were thus not correlated with C or N-uptake from soil. Nitrogen fixation as well as uptake of C and N from soil seem to be unaffected by C or N availability in the soil, suggesting that the moss can cover its nutrient demand by absorption of throughfall N and via associated N-2-fixing cyanobacteria without soil-N supplementation. We suggest further, that the moss can represent a (temporary) N-sink in the boreal forest, and that the moss' mechanism of uptake and release thereby will characterize the ecosystem N cycle. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Rousk, Kathrin and Rousk, Johannes and Jones, Davey L. and Zackrisson, Olle and DeLuca, Thomas H.},
  issn         = {0038-0717},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {86--95},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Soil Biology & Biochemistry},
  title        = {Feather moss nitrogen acquisition across natural fertility gradients in boreal forests},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2013.02.011},
  doi          = {10.1016/j.soilbio.2013.02.011},
  volume       = {61},
  year         = {2013},
}