A Kinetic Model for Detritus Nitrogen: Role of the Associated Bacteria in Nitrogen Accumulation
A kinetic model was developed to study the roles of associated bacteria as reservoirs and as agents in the evolving nitrogen chemistry of aging plant detritus. Using particulate detritus derived from the red alga Gracilaria foliifera and smooth cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora, we demonstrate that although living bacteria account for only a small amount of the total detrital nitrogen, their nitrogen-rich exudation products may accumulate by chemical and/or physical association with decay-resistant components of the detritus matrix. To account for observed changes in the nitrogen content of Spartina detritus, the bacterial community must have produced about 8 mg of extracellular organic nitrogen per dry gram of living bacteria per day.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1984-11-01
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