, Volume 326, Issue 1-2, pp 21-29
Date: 14 Apr 2009

C: N: P stoichiometry and specific growth rate of clover colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

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Abstract

Ecological stoichiometry has been widely applied in aquatic ecosystems, but has limited implications in terrestrial ecosystems. The pot experiments with Trifolium repens L. were conducted to demonstrate the relations between C: N: P, biological components and growth rate of clover colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. The results showed that for mycorrhizal clover, N, P concentrations increased with increasing growth rate, in support of the Growth Rate Hypothesis (GRH). Mycorrhizal clover had higher P and RNA concentrations than non-mycorrhizal clover, indicating that the increase in P concentration would invest more RNA to meet the synthesis of protein. Results also indicated that the increase in N concentration with rapid growth rate may be attributed to the increase in the concentration of protein N. Underlying mechanisms driving the association of C: N: P with growth rate for symbiotic partners should help elucidate the allocation of major nutrients to cellular organs and trophic dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems.

Responsible Editor: Thom W. Kuyper.