, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 233-236

Foliar and fine root nitrate reductase activity in seedlings of four forest tree species in relation to nitrogen availability

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Seedlings of red maple, white pine, pitch pine and red pine were fertilized with nutrient solutions containing 4 levels of nitrate or ammonium additions. These levels corresponded to approximately 0.5, 1, 2 and 4 times normal availability of nitrogen in northeastern forests. Nitrate reductase (NR) activity was assayed in roots and leaves. Red maples treated with nitrate showed much higher leaf activities and higher ratios of leaf NR activity to root NR activity than any other species. Ammonium additions to red maple and white pine appeared to inhibit NR activity in leaves. With high nitrate additions, NR activity was induced in roots and leaves of pine species, but activity in roots remained much higher than in leaves.