Journal of Plant Biology

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 61–69 | Cite as

Comparison of Nitrogen Fixation for North- and South-facing Robinia pseudoacacia Stands in Central Korea

  • Nam Jin Noh
  • Yowhan Son
  • Jin Woo Koo
  • Kyung Won Seo
  • Rae Hyun Kim
  • Yoon Young Lee
  • Kyung Seun Yoo


The nitrogenase activity, root nodule biomass, and rates of nitrogen (N) fixation were measured in 25-year-old pure north- and south-facing Robinia pseudoacacia stands in an urban forest of Seoul (Kkachisan Mountain) in central Korea. The nitrogenase activity was estimated using an acetylene reduction (AR) assay, which showed an increasing trend during the early growing season, with sustained high rates from June through to September with a decrease thereafter. July had the highest nitrogenase activity rate (micromoles C2H4 per gram dry nodule per hour), averaging 95.8 and 115.1 for the north- and south-facing stands, respectively. The maximum root nodule biomass (kilograms per hectare) was 45.7 and 9.1 for the north- and south-facing stands in July, respectively. The AR rate appeared to be strongly correlated to the soil temperature (r 2 = 0.68, P < 0.001) and soil pH (r 2 = 0.59, P < 0.001) while root nodule biomass was correlated to the soil temperature (r 2 = 0.36, P < 0.01) and water content (r 2 = 0.35, P < 0.05). The soil temperature showed clear differences between seasons, while there was a significant difference in soil pH, organic matter, total N concentrations, and available phosphorus between the north- and south-facing stands. The N2 fixation rates during the growing season varied from 0.1 to 37.5 kg N ha−1 month−1 depending on the sampling location and time. The annual N2 fixation rate (kg N per hectare per year) was 112.3 and 23.2 for the north- and south-facing stands, respectively. The differences in N2 fixation rate between the two stands were due mainly to the differences in total nodule biomass.


Acetylene reduction Aspect Nitrogen fixation Nodule biomass Robinia pseudoacacia 



We thank Seong-Joon Kim for laboratory assistance. Funding for this study was provided by Korea University and the KOSEF A3 Foresight Program (Grant No. A307-K001).


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Korea 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nam Jin Noh
    • 1
  • Yowhan Son
    • 1
  • Jin Woo Koo
    • 1
  • Kyung Won Seo
    • 1
  • Rae Hyun Kim
    • 2
  • Yoon Young Lee
    • 3
  • Kyung Seun Yoo
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Environmental Science and Ecological EngineeringKorea UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.Korea Forest Research InstituteSeoulKorea
  3. 3.Yeoju County OfficeYeojuKorea
  4. 4.Kwangwoon UniversitySeoulKorea

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