Plant and Soil

, Volume 64, Issue 3, pp 297–305

Position of mesquite (Prosopis spp) nodulation and nitrogen fixation (acetylene reduction) in 3-m long phraetophytically simulated soil columns


  • Peter Felker
    • Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research InstituteTexas A & I University
  • Peter R. Clark
    • Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research InstituteTexas A & I University

DOI: 10.1007/BF02372512

Cite this article as:
Felker, P. & Clark, P.R. Plant Soil (1982) 64: 297. doi:10.1007/BF02372512


The literature does not contain a field report of nodulation for the xerophytic tree legumes of the genus Prosopis despite their widespread occurrence in semi-arid regions of the world. A phraetophytically simulated greenhouse experiment was conducted with mesquite in a 3m deep soil column to determine if nodules would form in deper depths where moisture is more abundant. The upper 0.5m in the soil column was allowed to dry to 2200 kPa but the 3.2 m depth was maintained at soil moistures more positive than 70 kPa by water additions to the bottom of the soil column. Over 100 nodules and an acetylene reduction rate of 1.9 mg/h were observed at the 3.2m depth. Nodulation or acetylene reduction were not observed closer than 2.7m from the surface. Air temperatures during these assays exceeded 45°C. Leaf xylem water potentials were in the 2800–3500 kPa range.

Key words

Drought stressNitrogen fixationNodulationProsopis sppSemi-aridTree legumesWater potential

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W. Junk Publishers 1982