Original Papers

Oecologia

, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 52-56

First online:

Direct transfer of newly-fixed nitrogen from free-living epiphyllous microorganisms to their host plant

  • Barbara L. BentleyAffiliated withFinca La Selva of the Organization for Tropical Studies
  • , Edward J. CarpenterAffiliated withFinca La Selva of the Organization for Tropical Studies

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Summary

Nitrogen fixed by epiphyllous microorganisms on the surfaces of Welfia georgii pinnae was transferred to the host leaf. Rates of transfer could account for 10–25% of the N content of the leaf. These data represent the first time that direct transfer of N from free-living N fixers can occur through the leaf surface.