In order to monitor the nitrate assimilation capability of mire plants, in vivo current and maximally induced nitrate reductase activity (NRA) were investigated in 14 species of vascular plants from four different sites in a central Swedish mire. One of the sites was a swamp forest. The plants studied included species with both wide and restricted ecological ranges, and the mire sites selected covered a wide range of plant productivity. At the most productive site, current NRA differed among coexisting species. This differentiation in the use of nitrate as a source of nitrogen suggested the possibility of resource partitioning with regard to nitrogen acquisition. Maximally induced NRA, measured 3 days after an addition of nitrate, was highest at the most productive sites and differed among coexisting species. Plant species characteristic of rich fens had the highest maximally induced NRA. In all species, there was a positive correlation between the ability to assimilate peaks of available nitrate and total leaf nitrogen concentration.
Oecologia – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 1991
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