Smercina, D., S. E. Evans, M. L. Friesen, and L. K. Tiemann. 2021. Data from: Temporal dynamics of free‐living nitrogen fixation in the switchgrass rhizosphere. Dryad, Dataset

Here we present data associated with the manuscript, Temporal dyanmics of free-living nitrogen fixation in the switchgrass rhizosphere. Free-living nitrogen fixation (FLNF) represents an important terrestrial N source and is gaining interest for its potential to contribute plant available N to bioenergy cropping systems. Switchgrass, a cellulosic bioenergy crop, may be reliant on FLNF when particularly when grown on low N marginal lands. These potential contributions of FLNF to switchgrass and the controls on this process are not well understood. We evaluated drivers of FLNF rates and N-fixing microbial community composition in field-grown switchgrass systems over two years with high temporal sampling. We found climate variables to be strong drivers of FLNF in switchgrass systems, compared to other environmental and biological factors including soil nutrients and N-fixing microbial community composition. Increased soil moisture availability tended to promote FLNF, but extreme rainfall events appeared to be detrimental. These climate-related responses suggest FLNF-derived N contributions may be reduced under projected climate shifts. We also found a significant, but weak correlation between N-fixing microbial community composition and FLNF rates including an observed shift in community composition between 2017 and 2018 and a similarly significant difference in FLNF rates between years. Lastly, we found that seasonal FLNF N contributions, based on measurement with high temporal resolution, may meet up to 80% of switchgrass N demands.

DOI: 10.5061/dryad.931zcrjm3

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Associated Treatment Areas:

GLBRC Marginal Land Experiment

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