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Nitrogen isotopic fractionation associated with growth on dinitrogen gas and nitrate by cyanobacteria

Bauersachs, T. and Scouten, S. and Compaore, J. and Wollenzien, U.I.A. and Stal, L.J. and Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2009) Nitrogen isotopic fractionation associated with growth on dinitrogen gas and nitrate by cyanobacteria. Limnology and Oceanography, 54, 1403-1411. ISSN 0024-3590.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.4319/lo.2009.54.4.1403

Abstract

This study investigated the bulk nitrogen isotopic composition and fractionation of marine and freshwater cyanobacteria growing at the expense of atmospheric dinitrogen gas (N2) or nitrate (NO3-). In agreement with previous studies, cyanobacteria using N2 had d15N values ranging from -2‰ to -1‰ and fractionated by 2–3‰ against atmospheric N2. When grown on NO3-, the analyzed cyanobacteria had a remarkably large range in d15N, from -14‰ to 1‰, and fractionated by 4–19‰ relative to the supplied NO3-. Interestingly, several of the NO3--utilizing cyanobacteria expressed a nitrogen isotopic signal similar to the one expected for diazotrophic species. Extrapolation to the natural environment indicates that d15N signals considered to be associated with dinitrogen fixation could also be generated by NO3- utilization, depending on the isotopic composition of the nitrogen source, the degree of fractionation, and the type of cyanobacterium involved.

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:6287
Deposited On:23 Mar 2010 01:00
Last Modified:15 Jan 2014 09:17

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