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Re: Duckweek and nitrogen fixation

>Date: Sat, 8 Nov 1997 15:56:34 -0500
>From: Bain Chin <bchin at MIT_EDU>
>No. Plants do not fix atmospheric nitrogen. They rely on bacteria to do
>that job. Nitrogen that is consumable to plants are in the forms of
>ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Atmospheric nitrogen is too inert for
>that is why farmers need to add fertilizer containing nitrogen - ammonium

Some plants are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen.  They develop nodules on
their roots that contain the nitrogen-fixing bacteria in an anaerobic
state.  The Bluebonnet (State flower of Texas) is one among many species of
nitrogen-fixing plants.  

The only aquatic plant that is believed to fix nitrogen is cyanobacteria
(blue-green algae).  The ability of cyanobacteria to fix nitrogen has not
been shown in a laboratory environment, but it does tend to flourish in an
environment with low concentrations of organic nitrogen (ammonium,
nitrites, and nitrates).

David W. Webb           Texas Instruments
(972) 575-3443 (voice)  http://www.dallas.net/~dwebb
(214) 581-2380 (pager)  2145812380 at alphapage_airtouch.com