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The Nitrogen-Fixing Capacity of Ceanothus velutinus

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A quantitative study has been conducted of the capacity of Ceanothus velutinus var. laevigatus to fix atmospheric nitrogen. This species grows vigorously in a medium devoid of any form of combined nitrogen. During an 18-week experiment in which plants were grown in a nitrogen-free medium, fresh weight increased from an initial value of 20 g per plant to over 140 g at harvest. Nitrogen content increased from an intial 45 mg to 331 mg per plant at harvest. The efficiency of nitrogen fixation by C. velutinus expressed as mg N fixed per day per g of dry nodule ranged from 2.6 to 25.8. The efficiency of N fixation and the amount of N fixed per growth season is of the same order of magnitude as that reported for several legumes and non-leguminous symbionts.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor of Plant Physiology, Oregon State University

Publication date: June 1, 1966

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