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Nitrogen fixation in the western English Channel (NE Atlantic Ocean)

Rees, Andrew P., Gilbert, Jack A. and Kelly-Gerreyn, Boris A. (2009) Nitrogen fixation in the western English Channel (NE Atlantic Ocean) Marine Ecology Progress Series, 374, pp. 7-12. (doi:10.3354/meps07771).

Record type: Article


In temperate Atlantic waters (18.8 to 20.1°C), biological nitrogen fixation has been
demonstrated by 2 independent measurements: 15N-N2 incorporation and nifH identification in the
DNA and expressed messenger RNA (mRNA). At 2 stations in the western English Channel, bulk
waters were incubated with 15N-N2. At the high levels of particulate nitrogen (?11.5 ?mol N l–1),
absolute fixation rates of 18.9 ± 0.01 and 20.0 nmol N l–1d–1 were determined. While a caveat must
accompany the magnitude of the rates presented due to the limited number of data, the presence and
activity of diazotrophic organisms in these waters is of ecological significance and may affect current
attitudes to nitrogen and carbon budgets. In particular, our estimate of the rate of N fixation
(0.35 mmol N m–2 d–1) is comparable to that of denitrification rates in UK shelf seas. Molecular analysis
identified a diversity of expressed nifH genes, and 21 different prokaryotic nifH transcripts were

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Published date: 2009
Keywords: Temperate Atlantic · Nitrogen fixation · Diazotrophy · nifH · Western English Channel


Local EPrints ID: 63462
ISSN: 0171-8630
PURE UUID: 19fddbf4-d3d1-4eea-b7fe-826015992577

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Date deposited: 29 Jan 2009
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:17

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Author: Andrew P. Rees
Author: Jack A. Gilbert
Author: Boris A. Kelly-Gerreyn

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