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JENNIFER E. JOHNSON and JOSEPH A. BERRY The influence of leaf-atmosphere NH3(g) exchange on the isotopic composition of nitrogen in plants and the atmosphere Plant, Cell & Environment 36

Article first published online: 2 APR 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/pce.12087

While the distribution of nitrogen isotopes in the biosphere has the potential to offer insights into the past, present, and future dynamics of the nitrogen cycle, to date many of the patterns along the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum have eluded interpretation. Here, we describe a new approach for modeling isotope fractionation in complex systems, as well as a new model of nitrogen isotope fractionation during leaf-atmosphere NH3(g) exchange. The results suggest that this often overlooked mechanism contributes meaningfully to variation in the nitrogen isotopic composition of organic nitrogen in plants as well as NH3(g) in the atmosphere, and should be considered in analyses of the distribution of nitrogen isotopes at natural abundance and tracer levels.

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