Plant and Soil

, Volume 343, Issue 1–2, pp 379–392

Arbuscular mycorrhizas in phosphate-polluted soil: interrelations between root colonization and nitrogen

  • Verena Blanke
  • Markus Wagner
  • Carsten Renker
  • Hannelore Lippert
  • Manfred Michulitz
  • Arnd J. Kuhn
  • François Buscot
Regular Article
  • 413 Downloads

Abstract

To investigate whether arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) – abundant in a phosphate-polluted but nitrogen-poor field site – improve plant N nutrition, we carried out a two-factorial experiment, including N fertilization and fungicide treatment. Percentage of root length colonized (% RLC) by AMF and tissue element concentrations were determined for four resident plant species. Furthermore, soil nutrient levels and N effects on aboveground biomass of individual species were measured. Nitrogen fertilization lowered % RLC by AMF of Artemisia vulgaris L., Picris hieracioides L. and Poa compressa L., but not of Bromus japonicus Thunb. This – together with positive N addition effects on N status, N:P-ratio and aboveground biomass of most species – suggested that plants are mycorrhizal because of N deficiency. Fungicide treatment, which reduced % RLC in all species, resulted in lower N concentrations in A. vulgaris and P. hieracioides, a higher N concentration in P. compressa, and did not consistently affect N status of B. japonicus. Evidently, AMF had an influence on the N nutrition of plants in this P-rich soil; however – potentially due to differences in their mycorrhizal responsiveness – not all species seemed to benefit from a mycorrhiza-mediated N uptake and accordingly, N distribution.

Keywords

Arbuscular mycorrhiza Benomyl Element concentrations Nitrogen fertilization Phosphate pollution Root colonization 

Abbreviations

AM

Arbuscular mycorrhiza

AMF

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

% RLC

Percentage of root length colonized

Supplementary material

11104_2011_727_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (40 kb)
Online Resource 1Tissue element concentrations (other than N, P and N:P) of Artemisia vulgaris, Picris hieracioides, Poa compressa and Bromus japonicus for the different treatment combinations (averaged across blocks) (PDF 39 kb)
11104_2011_727_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (21 kb)
Online Resource 2Total soil element concentrations (other than N, P and pH) for the different treatment combinations (averaged across blocks) (PDF 20 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Verena Blanke
    • 1
    • 2
    • 7
  • Markus Wagner
    • 3
  • Carsten Renker
    • 2
    • 8
  • Hannelore Lippert
    • 4
  • Manfred Michulitz
    • 4
  • Arnd J. Kuhn
    • 5
  • François Buscot
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Institute of EcologyFriedrich-Schiller-University JenaJenaGermany
  2. 2.Department of Soil EcologyUFZ - Helmholtz Centre for Environmental ResearchHalle/SaaleGermany
  3. 3.NERC Centre for Ecology & HydrologyWallingfordUK
  4. 4.Central Division of Analytical Chemistry (ZCH)Research Centre JülichJülichGermany
  5. 5.Institute for Phytosphere Research (ICG-3)Research Centre JülichLeo-Brandt-StrasseJülichGermany
  6. 6.Institute of Biology, Chair of Soil EcologyUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  7. 7.Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon Research Station ART, Air Pollution/Climate GroupZürichSwitzerland
  8. 8.Natural History Museum MainzMainzGermany

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