Plant and Soil

, Volume 326, Issue 1–2, pp 21–29 | Cite as

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

  • M. M. Chen
  • H. B. Yin
  • P. O’Connor
  • Y. S. Wang
  • Y. G. Zhu
Regular Article


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.


AM fungi C: N: P stoichiometry Guanidinium isothiocyanate (GITC) method GRH Nutrient allocation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. M. Chen
    • 1
  • H. B. Yin
    • 1
  • P. O’Connor
    • 2
  • Y. S. Wang
    • 3
  • Y. G. Zhu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Soil Environmental Science, Research Center for Eco-Environmental SciencesThe Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Earth and Environmental SciencesThe University of AdelaideSouth AustraliaAustralia
  3. 3.Institute of Plant Nutrition and ResourceBeijing Academy of Agriculture and ForestryBeijingChina

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