A New Approach to the Analysis of Reductive and Dissipative Costs in Nitrogen Assimilation

  • D. K. McDermitt
  • R. S. Loomis


The relative costs of assimilation of atmospheric nitrogen and nitrate nitrogen is an important question for the interpretation of higher plant productivity. On the basis of the energetics of N2 reduction by bacterial nitrogenase (Burris and Winter, 1968) and thermodynamic and stoichiometric considerations (Bergersen, 1971; Hardy and Havelka, 1975), it would appear that the cost of N2 fixation is comparable to that for NO3 reduction. However, those analyses did not account fully for losses associated with H2 evolution (Schubert and Evans, 1976) or for nodule growth and maintenance in the case of N2 fixation, nor for the cost of pH balance during NO3 assimilation (Dijkshoorn, 1962; Raven and Smith, 1976).


Nitrogen Source White Clover Dissipative Process Nitrogen Assimilation Growth Efficiency 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. K. McDermitt
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. S. Loomis
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Monsanto Agricultural Products Co.St. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Agronomy and Range ScienceUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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