Algae: Nitrogen Fixation by Antarctic Species

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Science  15 Mar 1963:
Vol. 139, Issue 3559, pp. 1059-1060
DOI: 10.1126/science.139.3559.1059


Algae from terrestrial and fresh-water habitats in Antarctica were examined for ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. Nostoc commune was the only species capable of growing in nitrogen-free medium; nitrogen fixation by this species was verified by assimilation of N15. The importance of nitrogen-fixing algae to terrestrial life in the Antarctic is discussed.