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New Phytologist

Hila Bakhshian  - Institute of Plant Science and Genetics in Agriculture, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, 7610001 Israel.
Tania Masci  - Institute of Plant Science and Genetics in Agriculture, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, 7610001 Israel.
Efrat Sheffer - Institute of Plant Science and Genetics in Agriculture, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, 7610001 Israel.

  • Leaf nitrogen concentration often is higher in leguminous plants, which associate with dinitrogen‐fixing bacteria, compared with nonlegume plants. However, the range of nitrogen concentrations in legumes is wide, likely related to the range of nitrogen fixation strategies. We evaluated how carbon and nitrogen allocation to roots, stems and leaves is influenced by the type of strategy of nitrogen fixation regulation.
  • We grew herbaceous annual legumes (Medicago truncatulaHymenocarpos circinnatus and Vicia palaestina) under two nitrogen availability treatments (none/sufficient), with and without bacterial inoculation.
  • We found facultative downregulation of the rate of nitrogen fixation when nitrogen was available in H. circinnatus, and an obligate similar fixation rate in both nitrogen treatments in M. truncatula and V. palaestina. Uninoculated plants invested more biomass in roots and contained lower nitrogen concentrations. However, nitrogen concentration in the entire plant and in the leaves was lower and more plastic in the species with a facultative fixation strategy, whereas species with an obligate fixation strategy also maintained high nitrogen concentrations.
  • Our results suggest a suite of functional traits associated with the strategies of allocation and symbiotic nitrogen fixation. This suite of traits probably shapes successional and functional niches of different leguminous species in specious plant communities. 
 
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The nitrogen economic spectrum of legume stoichiometry and fixation strategy

Hila Bakhshian  - Institute of Plant Science and Genetics in Agriculture, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, 7610001 Israel.
Tania Masci  - Institute of Plant Science and Genetics in Agriculture, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, 7610001 Israel.
Efrat Sheffer - Institute of Plant Science and Genetics in Agriculture, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, 7610001 Israel.

The nitrogen economic spectrum of legume stoichiometry and fixation strategy
  • Leaf nitrogen concentration often is higher in leguminous plants, which associate with dinitrogen‐fixing bacteria, compared with nonlegume plants. However, the range of nitrogen concentrations in legumes is wide, likely related to the range of nitrogen fixation strategies. We evaluated how carbon and nitrogen allocation to roots, stems and leaves is influenced by the type of strategy of nitrogen fixation regulation.
  • We grew herbaceous annual legumes (Medicago truncatulaHymenocarpos circinnatus and Vicia palaestina) under two nitrogen availability treatments (none/sufficient), with and without bacterial inoculation.
  • We found facultative downregulation of the rate of nitrogen fixation when nitrogen was available in H. circinnatus, and an obligate similar fixation rate in both nitrogen treatments in M. truncatula and V. palaestina. Uninoculated plants invested more biomass in roots and contained lower nitrogen concentrations. However, nitrogen concentration in the entire plant and in the leaves was lower and more plastic in the species with a facultative fixation strategy, whereas species with an obligate fixation strategy also maintained high nitrogen concentrations.
  • Our results suggest a suite of functional traits associated with the strategies of allocation and symbiotic nitrogen fixation. This suite of traits probably shapes successional and functional niches of different leguminous species in specious plant communities. 
 
Scientific Publication
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