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NH4 preferred?

I have read on this board that plants more readily utilize NH4 as their
nitrogen source that Nitrate forms.  In terrestrial plant systems NO3 is the
preferred form of nitrogen.  In fact, with certain herbaceous plants, the use
of ammonium fertilizers are discouraged.  What is the basis for the assertion
that, at least for aquatic plants, NH4 is the preferred source of N?  And, if
it is the case that aquatic plants can more readily utilize NH4 nitrogen, how
significant is this or are we splitting hairs here.