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Arbuscular mycorrhizas in phosphate-polluted soil:\ud interrelations between root colonization and nitrogen

By Verena Blanke, Markus Wagner, Carsten Renker, Hannelore Lippert, Manfred Michulitz, Arnd J. Kuhn and Francois Buscot

Abstract

To investigate whether arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) – abundant in a phosphate-polluted but nitrogen-poor field site – improve plant N nutrition, we carried out a two-factorial experiment, including N fertilization and fungicide treatment.\ud Percentage of root length colonized (% RLC) by AMF and tissue element concentrations were determined for four resident plant species. Furthermore, soil nutrient levels and N effects on aboveground biomass of individual species were measured. Nitrogen fertilization lowered % RLC by AMF of\ud Artemisia vulgaris L., Picris hieracioides L. and Poa compressa L., but not of Bromus japonicus Thunb. This – together with positive N addition effects on N status, N:P-ratio and aboveground biomass of most species – suggested that plants are mycorrhizal because of N deficiency. Fungicide treatment, which reduced % RLC in all species, resulted in lower N concentrations in A. vulgaris and P. hieracioides, a higher N concentration in P. compressa, and did not consistently affect N status of B. japonicus. Evidently, AMF had an influence on the N nutrition of plants in this P-rich soil; however – potentially due to differences in their mycorrhizal responsiveness – not all species seemed to benefit froma mycorrhiza-mediated N uptake and accordingly, N distribution

Topics: Botany, Agriculture and Soil Science, Biology and Microbiology, Ecology and Environment
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1007/s11104-011-0727-9
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:15209

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