Ammonium and nitrate as nitrogen sources in two Eriophorum species

George W. Koch, Arnold J. Bloom, F. Stuart Chapin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We compared ammonium and nitrate nutrition in Eriophorum scheuchzeri and E. vaginatum, two Alaskan sedges that are native to high- and low-fertility sites, respectively. When grown in solution culture, the two species were similar in their kinetics of NHinf4sup+NOinf3sup-absorption: at nitrogen concentrations below 50 μM, net NHinf4sup+and NOinf3sup-were absorbed at similar rates, but at higher concentrations, net uptake of NOinf3sup-was significantly faster than that of NHinf4sup+. The two species also showed similar abilities to assimilate NOinf3sup-. Growth of E. vaginatum under NOinf3sup-nutrition was only slightly less than that under NHinf4sup+. The observed similarities between these species from contrasting edaphic habitats indicate that factors other than tissue-specific rates of nitrogen acquisition and assimilation may underlie local adaptation to soil N fertility. Moreover, the capacity of these species to exploit NOinf3sup-as a N source supports the view that NOinf3sup-availability may be significant even in wet, acidic, arctic soils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)570-573
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1991


  • Absorption
  • Ammonium
  • Eriophorum scheuchzeri
  • Eriophorum vaginatum
  • Nitrate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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