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Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 55, Issue 8, pp 789–800 | Cite as

Sequential defoliation impacts on colonisation of roots of Lolium rigidum by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were primarily determined by root responses

  • Jing-Wei FanEmail author
  • Zakaria M. Solaiman
  • Bede S. Mickan
  • Yan-Lei Du
  • Feng-Min Li
  • Lynette K. Abbott
Original Paper
  • 220 Downloads

Abstract

Defoliation often has little effect on the percent plant root length colonised by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, and this has been interpreted as a lack of support for the carbon limitation hypothesis. We performed an experiment with three levels of repeated defoliation (none, every 3 weeks and weekly) of Lolium rigidum growing in pasture soil, and assessed colonisation of roots by naturally occurring AM fungi over 4 months in the glasshouse. Surprisingly, the percent root length colonised by AM fungi increased with defoliation. We also assessed root mass and the length of colonised root to obtain an estimate of the quantity of mycorrhizal root. As expected, both root mass and length of mycorrhizal root decreased with defoliation, as did soluble sugars in the roots. Thus, increasing the frequency of defoliation reduced mycorrhizas consistent with the carbon-limitation hypothesis. Such a decline in mass of mycorrhizal root could contribute to reducing soil biological fertility in pastures over time.

Keywords

Carbon limitation hypothesis Grazing Pasture Rhizosphere Soluble carbon Arbuscular mycorrhiza 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Jing-Wei Fan appreciated financial support from the China Scholarship Council for 18 months of study at The University of Western Australia (UWA). We thank Professor Jacob Weiner at University of Copenhagen and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on an earlier version of the paper.

Funding information

This research was supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (31700333), the ‘111’ programme (2007B051), Chinese Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2017M613241) and the Fundamental Research Funds for Central Universities (lzujbky-2018-it08).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jing-Wei Fan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Zakaria M. Solaiman
    • 2
    • 3
  • Bede S. Mickan
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yan-Lei Du
    • 1
  • Feng-Min Li
    • 1
  • Lynette K. Abbott
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystems, Institute of Arid Agroecology, School of Life SciencesLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  2. 2.UWA School of Agriculture and EnvironmentThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  3. 3.UWA Institute of AgricultureThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia

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