, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 159–165

Mycorrhizal C costs and nutritional benefits in developing grapevines



Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) C-costs in grapevines were investigated. Dormant vines rely on stored C for initial growth. Therefore AM colonisation costs would compete with plant growth for available C reserves. One-year-old grapevines, colonised with Glomus etunicatum (Becker and Gerdemann), were cultivated under glasshouse conditions. The C-economy and P utilisation of the symbiosis were sequentially analysed. AM colonisation, during the 0–67 day growth period, used more stem C relative to root C, which resulted in lower shoot growth. The decline in AM colonisation during the period of 67–119 days coincided with stem C replenishment and higher shoot growth. Construction costs of AM plants and root C allocation increased with root P uptake. The efficiency of P utilisation was lower in AM roots. The reliance of AM colonisation on stem C declined with a decrease in colonisation, providing more C for the refilling of stem carbohydrate reserves and shoot growth. Once established, the AM symbiosis increased P uptake at the expense of refilling of root C reserves. Although higher root C allocation increased plant construction costs, AM roots were more efficient at P utilisation.


C-economy Arbuscular mycorrhiza P utilisation efficiency Grapevine 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Botany DepartmentUniversity of StellenboschMatielandSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Viticulture and OenologyUniversity of StellenboschMatielandSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Sciences, Applied Sciences FacultyCape Peninsula University of TechnologyCape Town 8000South Africa

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