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Sulphate reduction and nitrogen fixation rates associated with roots, rhizomes and sediments from Zostera noltii and Spartina maritima meadows
Nielsen, L.B.; Finster, K.; Welsh, D.T.; Donelly, A.; Herbert, R.A.; De Wit, R.; Lomstein, B.A. (2001). Sulphate reduction and nitrogen fixation rates associated with roots, rhizomes and sediments from Zostera noltii and Spartina maritima meadows. Environ. Microbiol. 3(1): 63-71. hdl.handle.net/10.1046/j.1462-2920.2001.00160.x
In: Environmental Microbiology. Blackwell Scientific Publishers: Oxford. ISSN 1462-2912, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Nitrogen fixation; Rhizomes; Roots; Sediments; Sulphate reduction; Spartina maritima (Curt.) Fernald [WoRMS]; Zostera (Zosterella) noltei Hornemann [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Nielsen, L.B.
  • Finster, K.
  • Welsh, D.T.
  • Donelly, A.
  • Herbert, R.A.
  • De Wit, R.
  • Lomstein, B.A.

Abstract
    Sulphate reduction rates (SRR) and nitrogen fixation rates (NFR) associated with isolated roots, rhizomes and sediment from the rhizosphere of the marine macrophytes Zostera noltii and Spartina maritima, and the presence and distribution of Bacteria on the roots and rhizomes, were investigated. Between 1% and 3% of the surface area of the roots and rhizomes of both macrophytes were colonized by Bacteria. Bacteria on the surfaces of S. maritima roots and rhizomes were evenly distributed, while the distribution of Bacteria on Z. noltii roots and rhizomes was patchy. Root- and rhizome-associated SRR and NFR were always higher than rates in the bulk sediment. In particular, nitrogen fixation associated with the roots and rhizomes was 41-650-fold higher than in the bulk sediment. Despite the fact that sulphate reduction was elevated on roots and rhizomes compared with bulk sediment, the contribution of plant-associated sulphate reduction to overall sulphate reduction was small (< or =11%). In contrast, nitrogen fixation associated with the roots and rhizomes accounted for 31% and 91% of the nitrogen fixed in the rhizosphere of Z. noltii and S. maritima respectively. In addition, plant-associated nitrogen fixation could supply 37-1,613% of the nitrogen needed by the sulphate-reducing community. Sucrose stimulated nitrogen fixation and sulphate reduction significantly in the root and rhizome compartments of both macrophytes, but not in the bulk sediment.

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