The accumulation of ammonia takes place more rapidly in light than in darkness. The accumulation appears to go on until a steady state is attained. The steady state concentration of ammonia in the sap is about twice as great in light as in darkness. Both effects are possibly due to the fact that the external pH (and hence the concentration of undissociated ammonia) outside is raised by photosynthesis.
Certain "permeability constants" have been calculated. These indicate that the rate is proportional to the concentration gradient across the protoplasm of NH4X which is formed by the interaction of NH3 or NH4OH and HX, an acid elaborated in the protoplasm. The results are interpreted to mean that HX is produced only at the sap-protoplasm interface and that on the average its concentration there is about 7 times as great as at the sea water-protoplasm interface. This ratio of HX at the two surfaces also explains why the concentration of undissociated ammonia in the steady state is about 7 times as great in the sea water as in the sap. The permeability constant P''' appears to be greater in the dark. This is possibly associated with an increase in the concentration of HX at both interfaces, the ratio at the two surfaces, however, remaining about the same.
The pH of sap has been determined by a new method which avoids the loss of gas (CO2), an important source of error. The results indicate that the pH rises during accumulation but the extent of this rise is smaller than has hitherto been supposed.
As in previous experiments, the entering ammonia displaced a practically equivalent amount of potassium from the sap and the sodium concentration remained fairly constant.
It seems probable that the pH increase is due to the entrance of small amounts of NH3 or NH4OH in excess of the potassium lost as a base.