Articles | Volume 14, issue 5
Biogeosciences, 14, 1111–1122, 2017
Biogeosciences, 14, 1111–1122, 2017

Research article 09 Mar 2017

Research article | 09 Mar 2017

Symbiosis revisited: phosphorus and acid buffering stimulate N2 fixation but not Sphagnum growth

Eva van den Elzen et al.

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Cited articles

Aerts, R., Wallen, B., and Malmer, N.: Growth-limiting nutrients in Sphagnum-dominated bogs subject to low and high atmospheric nitrogen supply, J. Ecol., 80, 131–140, 1992.
Aerts, R., Verhoeven, J. T. A., and Whigham, D. F.: Plant-mediated controls on nutrient cycling in temperate fens and bogs, Ecology, 80, 2170–2181, 1999.
Alexander, V. and Schell, D. M.: Seasonal and spatial variation of nitrogen fixation in the Barrow, Alaska, tundra, Arctic Alpine Res., 5, 77–88, 1973.
Andersen, R., Chapman, S. J., and Artz, R. R. E.: Microbial communities in natural and disturbed peatlands: a review, Soil Biol. Biochem., 57, 979–994, 2013.
Bay, G., Nahar, N., Oubre, M., Whitehouse, M. J., Wardle, D. A., Zackrisson, O., Nilsson, M.-C., and Rasmussen, U.: Boreal feather mosses secrete chemical signals to gain nitrogen, New Phytol., 200, 54–60, 2013.
Short summary
Peatlands are important because they sequester large amounts of carbon, for which nitrogen is needed. In peatlands dominated by peat mosses, atmospheric nitrogen is fixed by associated microorganisms. We here show for the first time experimentally that phosphorus availability and acid buffering, both showing large variations among peatlands, can explain the strong differences reported for nitrogen fixation. This improves our understanding of peatland functioning in relation to global change.
Final-revised paper