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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Nitrogen fixation in Faidherbia albida, Acacia raddiana, Acacia senegal and Acacia seyal estimated using the 15N isotope dilution technique

Published Date
Volume 172, Issue 2, pp 175–180

Research Article
DOI: 10.1007/BF00011319

Cite this article as: 
Ndoye, I., Gueye, M., Danso, S.K.A. et al. Plant Soil (1995) 172: 175. doi:10.1007/BF00011319

  • I. Ndoye
  • M. Gueye
  • S. K. A. Danso
  • B. Dreyfus

A pot experiment was conducted in a greenhouse using the 15N isotope dilution method and two reference plants, Parkia biglobosa and Tamarindus indica to estimate nitrogen fixed in four Acacia species: A raddiana, A. senegal, A. seyal and Faidherbia albida (synonym Acacia albida). For the reference plants, the 15N enrichments in leaves, stems and roots were similar. With the fixing plants, leaves and stems had similar 15N enrichments; they were higher than the 15N enrichment of roots. The amounts of nitrogen fixed at 5 months after planting were similar using either reference plant. Estimates of the percentage of N derived from fixation (%Ndfa) for the above ground parts, in contrast to %Ndfa in roots, were similar to those for the whole plant. However, none of the individual plant parts estimated accurately total N fixed in the whole plant, and excluding the roots resulted in at least 30% underestimation of the amounts of N fixed. Between species, differences in N2 fixation were observed, both for %Ndfa and total N fixed. For %Ndfa, the best were A. seyal (average, 63%) and A. raddiana (average, 62%), being at least twice the %Ndfa in A. senegal and F. albida. Because of its very high N content, A. seyal was clearly the best in total N fixed, fixing 1.62 g N plant−1 compared to an average of 0.48 g N plant−1 for the other Acacia species. Our results show the wide variability existing between Acacia species in terms of both %Ndfa and total N fixed: A. seyal was classified as having a high N2 fixing potential (NFP) while the other Acacia species had a low NFP.


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