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    Description

    Our objective was to better understand how organic and inorganic nitrogen (N) forms supplied to a tree, Robinia pseudoacacia, and a perennial forb, Lupinus latifolius, affected plant growth and performance of their symbiotic, N-fixing rhizobia. In one experiment, we tested five sources of N [none; three inorganic forms (ammonium, nitrate, ammoniumnitrate); and an organic form (arginine)] in combination with or without rhizobia inoculation. We measured seedling morphology, allometry, nodule biomass, and N status. A second experiment explored combinations of supplied 15N and inoculation to examine if inorganic or organic N was deleterious to nodule N-fixation. Plant growth was similar among N forms. A positive response of nodule biomass to N was greater in Robinia than Lupinus. For Robinia, inorganic ammonium promoted more nodule biomass than organic arginine. N-fixation was concurrent with robust supply of either inorganic or organic N, and N supply and inoculation significantly interacted to enhance growth of Robinia. For Lupinus, the main effects of inoculation and N supply increased growth but no interaction was observed. Our results indicate that these important restoration species for forest ecosystems respond well to organic or inorganic N forms (or various forms of inorganic N), suggest that the nodulation response may depend on plant species, and show that, in terms of plant growth, N supply and nodulation can be synergistic.

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    Citation

    Zhang, Peng; Dumroese, R. Kasten; Pinto, Jeremiah R. 2019. Organic or inorganic nitrogen and rhizobia inoculation provide synergistic growth response of a leguminous forb and tree. Frontiers in Plant Science. 10: Article 1308.

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    Keywords

    amino acid, arginine, inorganic nitrogen, isotopic nitrogen, Lupinus latifolius, nitrogen fixation, organic nitrogen, Robinia pseudoacacia

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/59084