, Volume 50, Issue 1–2, pp 77–86 | Cite as

Spatial distribution and biomass of root nodules in a naturally regenerated stand of Alnus hirsuta (Turcz.) var. sibirica

  • Hiroyuki Tobita
  • Shigeaki F. Hasegawa
  • Xingjun Tian
  • Satoshi Nanami
  • Hiroshi Takeda


To estimate nodule biomass of Alnus hirsuta var. sibirica, an N2-fixing tree species, we examined the distribution pattern and size structure of nodules in a 17 to 18 year old stand naturally regenerated after disturbance by road construction in Japan. Nodules were harvested within 1 m from the outer edge of stems of plants with different sizes on four occasions from June to October. The diameter of the subtending root at the base of each nodule and nodule dry weight were measured in 20 cm increments outwards from the base of each stem. Horizontal distribution of nodules around each tree varied greatly among tree diameters at 1.3 m (dbh) within the even-aged stand. In particular, smaller individuals had a concentrated distribution of nodules close to the stem. Nodule abundance occurred further from the stems with increasing tree size. Nodule biomass within 1 m from the outer edge of individual stems increased with tree size ([nodule biomass] = 0.442 [dbh]2.01, R 2 = 0.747, P < 0.05). By using the relationship, nodule biomasses were estimated to be 84.1 kg ha−1. These results suggest that it is necessary to take into account tree size and patterns of tree distribution in nodule biomass estimates.


Actinorhizal plants Frankia Nodule biomass Symbiotic N2 fixation 



This study was supported in part by a JSPS research fellowship for young scientists (NO. 91567) and by the Program for Promotion of Basic and Applied Researches for Innovations in Bio-oriented Industry (BRAIN).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroyuki Tobita
    • 1
  • Shigeaki F. Hasegawa
    • 2
  • Xingjun Tian
    • 3
  • Satoshi Nanami
    • 4
  • Hiroshi Takeda
    • 5
  1. 1.Hokkaido Research CenterForestry and Forest Products Research InstituteSapporoJapan
  2. 2.Research Institute for Humanity and NatureKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Department of BiologyNanjing UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Graduate School of ScienceOsaka City UniversityOsakaJapan
  5. 5.Department of Environmental System ScienceDoshisha UniversityKyotoJapan

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