Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Nitrogen fixation: Fixing evolution in global forests

The fields of ecology and evolutionary biology are implicitly connected. A new theory that links the global distribution and evolution of nitrogen-fixing trees uses the universal language of mathematics to make this connection more explicit.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Pterocarpus officinalis, a symbiotic nitrogen-fixing tree in the Fabaceae family, in a remote tropical forest at the Bladen Nature Reserve, Belize.

STEVEN W. BREWER

References

  1. Sheffer, E., Batterman, S. A., Levin, S. A. & Hedin, L. O. Nature Plants 1, 15182 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Falkowski, P. G. Nature 387, 272–275 (1997).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Sprent, J. I. & Raven, J. A. Proc. R. Soc. Edin. B 85, 215–237 (1985).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Vitousek, P. M. & Howarth, R. W. Biogeochemistry 13, 87–115 (1991).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Menge, D. N. L., Levin, S. A. & Hedin, L. O. Am. Nat. 174, 465–477 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Martinelli, L. A. et al. Biogeochemistry 46, 45–65 (1999).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Rastetter, E. B. et al. Ecosystems 4, 369–388 (2001).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Houlton, B. Z., Wang, Y. P., Vitousek, P. M. & Field, C. B. Nature 454, 327–334 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Wang, Y.-P. & Houlton, B. Z. Geophys. Res. Lett. 36, L24403 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Levin, S. A. Ecology 73, 1943–1967 (1992).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Benjamin Z. Houlton.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Houlton, B. Nitrogen fixation: Fixing evolution in global forests. Nature Plants 1, 15205 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nplants.2015.205

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nplants.2015.205

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing