nitrogen-fixing symbiotic bacteria in root nodules

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nitrogen-fixing symbiotic bacteria in root nodules

Postby GoldenWattle » Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:47 pm

I decided to remove a Eutaxia obovata earlier in the week and I noticed some nodules on the roots. I've since discovered this plant is leguminous. The rhizobia bacteria in the nodules take nitrogen gas (N2) out of the air and convert it to a form of nitrogen that's usable to the host plant. I used to think that green manure crops made N available to other plants, but it's purely the breaking down of them (when turned over in the soil) that adds N to the soil. As an aside, I know there is air in the soil, but I'm surprised these nodes wouldn't form above ground where presumably the access to air is greater.

In any event, given that acacias are leguminous too, does that mean these plants don't require fertiliser? Or would it be better to use a low N fertiliser for leguminous natives (since too much N can lead to excessive soft growth which is prone to pest attacks)? I know acacias aren't sensitive to P like the proteaceous natives, but can one kill them with kindness?

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Cheers,
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Re: nitrogen-fixing symbiotic bacteria in root nodules

Postby Pam » Sat Dec 11, 2010 5:34 am

GoldenWattle wrote:I given that acacias are leguminous too, does that mean these plants don't require fertiliser?


No, they still require other nutrients. Growing in the wild they get these from composted fallen debris and the various insects etc and fungi that lives amongst it, along with visiting birds etc.

Anything that's not too high in nitrogen would be fine GW.

Cool pic! :D
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