What drives biological nitrogen fixation in high arctic tundra: Moisture or temperature?

What drives biological nitrogen fixation in high arctic tundra: Moisture or temperature? Biological nitrogen (N2) fixation is one of the main sources of available N for pristine ecosystems such as subarctic and arctic tundra. Although this has been acknowledged more than a decade ago, few attempts have been undertaken to identify the foremost driver of N2 fixation in the high Arctic. Here, we report results from in situ measurements of N2 fixation throughout the main growing period (June–August) in high arctic tundra, Greenland, in climate change treatments, shading and warming, and control. Nitrogen fixation was also measured in cores that received additional water prior to the measurements. The climate change field treatments did not lead to significant changes in any measured parameters; however, N2 fixation was promoted by adding water, and moisture was the most important factor influencing N2 fixation in all climate change field treatments. Maximum N2 fixation rates were measured below 14°C soil temperature, which is much lower than the theoretical and previously reported temperature optimum for the nitrogenase enzyme. Diazotroph (N2 fixing bacteria) communities are adapted to low temperatures in high arctic settings, and increased temperature in a future climate may lead to decreased N2 fixation rates, or to a shift in diazotroph communities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecosphere Wiley

What drives biological nitrogen fixation in high arctic tundra: Moisture or temperature?

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Publisher
Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
Copyright
© 2018 The Ecological Society of America
ISSN
2150-8925
eISSN
2150-8925
D.O.I.
10.1002/ecs2.2117
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Biological nitrogen (N2) fixation is one of the main sources of available N for pristine ecosystems such as subarctic and arctic tundra. Although this has been acknowledged more than a decade ago, few attempts have been undertaken to identify the foremost driver of N2 fixation in the high Arctic. Here, we report results from in situ measurements of N2 fixation throughout the main growing period (June–August) in high arctic tundra, Greenland, in climate change treatments, shading and warming, and control. Nitrogen fixation was also measured in cores that received additional water prior to the measurements. The climate change field treatments did not lead to significant changes in any measured parameters; however, N2 fixation was promoted by adding water, and moisture was the most important factor influencing N2 fixation in all climate change field treatments. Maximum N2 fixation rates were measured below 14°C soil temperature, which is much lower than the theoretical and previously reported temperature optimum for the nitrogenase enzyme. Diazotroph (N2 fixing bacteria) communities are adapted to low temperatures in high arctic settings, and increased temperature in a future climate may lead to decreased N2 fixation rates, or to a shift in diazotroph communities.

Journal

EcosphereWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

Keywords: ; ; ; ; ; ;

References

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