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Does nitrogen availability have greater control over the formation of tropical heath forests than water stress? A hypothesis based on nitrogen isotope ratios

Brearley, FQ and Fine, PVA and Perreijn, K (2011) Does nitrogen availability have greater control over the formation of tropical heath forests than water stress? A hypothesis based on nitrogen isotope ratios. Acta Amazonica, 41 (4). pp. 589-592. ISSN 0044-5967

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Abstract

lobal scale analyses of soil and foliage δ15N have found positive relationships between δ15N and ecosystem N loss (suggesting an open N cycle) and a negative relationship between δ15N and water availability. We show here that soils and leaves from tropical heath forests are depleted in 15N relative to 'typical' forests suggesting that they have a tight N cycle and are therefore limited by N rather than by, often suggested, water availability.

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