Estimates of biological nitrogen fixation by Pterocarpus lucens in a semi arid natural forest park in Senegal using 15N natural abundance method

  • S N Sylla
  • I Ndoye
  • M Gueye
  • A T Ba
  • B Dreyfus


Nitrogen (N2) fixation by Pterocarpus lucens in a natural semi arid ecosystem, in Ferlo, Senegal was estimated using 15N natural abundance (15N) procedure. Other non-fixing trees accompanying P. lucens in the same area were also investigated as control. Results showed an important variation of 15N in leaves between the nitrogen-fixing tree (P. lucens) and reference plants, whereas no significant differences were recorded in amount of nitrogen (%). The relative 15N values () were higher in non-fixing plants than in fixing plants considered. Calculations of %Ndfa gave rates ranging between 26% and 49%. The values of %Ndfa depend largely on soil and the reference plants. The contribution of nitrogen derived from fixation in leaves reached 28.9 kg.N/ha and 10.8 kg.N/ha in ferruginous and in sandy soil respectively.

(African Journal of Biotechnology: 2002 1(2): 50-56)

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eISSN: 1684-5315