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Phosphorus (P) has been proposed to directly limit primary productivity in some temperate grassland ecosystems. Our study of a recovering prairie on Colorado's Front Range suggests that P availability, possibly via regulation of nitrogen (N) fixation, may strongly influence N availability in recovering prairie soils. Consequently, increased P availability could indirectly affect plant growth through the alleviation of N limitation. At our site, concentrations of soil inorganic N were nearly three times higher in plots fertilized with P than in control plots. Subsequent acetylene reduction analyses showed that soil N fixation rates were more than double for P fertilization plots. These results highlight potential...