Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    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.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    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.


    Google Scholar


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

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page