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Biogeochemistry

, Volume 97, Issue 2–3, pp 183–194 | Cite as

Depleted 15N in hydrolysable-N of arctic soils and its implication for mycorrhizal fungi–plant interaction

  • Y. YanoEmail author
  • G. R. Shaver
  • A. E. Giblin
  • E. B. Rastetter
Article

Abstract

Uptake of nitrogen (N) via root-mycorrhizal associations accounts for a significant portion of total N supply to many vascular plants. Using stable isotope ratios (δ15N) and the mass balance among N pools of plants, fungal tissues, and soils, a number of efforts have been made in recent years to quantify the flux of N from mycorrhizal fungi to host plants. Current estimates of this flux for arctic tundra ecosystems rely on the untested assumption that the δ15N of labile organic N taken up by the fungi is approximately the same as the δ15N of bulk soil. We report here hydrolysable amino acids are more depleted in 15N relative to hydrolysable ammonium and amino sugars in arctic tundra soils near Toolik Lake, Alaska, USA. We demonstrate, using a case study, that recognizing the depletion in 15N for hydrolysable amino acids (δ15N = −5.6‰ on average) would alter recent estimates of N flux between mycorrhizal fungi and host plants in an arctic tundra ecosystem.

Keywords

15Arctic tundra Decomposition Hydrolysable amino acids Mycorrhizal fungi Nitrogen transfer Plant–fungal interaction 

Abbreviations

C

Carbon

HAA

Hydrolysable amino acids

HAS

Hydrolysable amino sugars

HNH4+

Hydrolizable ammonium

N

Nitrogen

NH4+

Ammonium

NO3

Nitrate

TDN

Total dissolved N

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Erik Hobbie and John Hobbie for their insightful comments on the manuscript; Marshall Otter for isotope analyses; Christie Haupert, Jim Laundre, and Carrie McCalley for their field and laboratory assistance. We acknowledge Northland College for the use of facility. This study was funded by NSF-DEB-0423385and NSF-DEB 0444592. Additional support was provided by Arctic Long Term Ecological Research program, funded by National Science Foundation, Division of Environmental Biology.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Yano
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • G. R. Shaver
    • 1
  • A. E. Giblin
    • 1
  • E. B. Rastetter
    • 1
  1. 1.The Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological LaboratoryWoods HoleUSA
  2. 2.Human and Health Services, Municipality of AnchorageAnchorageUSA

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