Nitrogen-fixing rainforest trees

Based on a 17-year study of Costa Rican rainforests, researchers found that nitrogen-fixing trees—the primary source of nitrogen that fertilizes regenerating tropical forests—inhibited the growth of neighboring trees to a greater extent than non-nitrogen fixing trees, and total tree growth was slower in plots with more nitrogen-fixing trees, suggesting that nitrogen-fixing trees do not always facilitate tropical forest regeneration, despite their ability to add nitrogen to the soil.

Article #17-07094: “Nitrogen-fixing trees inhibit growth of regenerating Costa Rican rainforests,” by Benton Neil Taylor, Robin Chazdon, Benedicte Bachelot, and Duncan Menge.