Increased uptake of anions by plants with vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizas
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In two field experiments sown in 1982 to test the effect of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizas (VAM) on growth and phosphorus nutrition of (i) spring wheat and spring barley, (ii) winter wheat and winter barley, we measured the concentrations of the major cation (K+, Ca2+, Mg2+ and Na+) and anions (Cl−, SO42−, H2PO4− and NO3−) in shoot tissue. In all cases the sum of the anion concentrations (ΣA) was increased strongly by mycorrhizal infection but not by P additions, confirming earlier observations2 on spring wheat. The concentration of total cations (ΣA) was generally reduced by P additions, hence P and VAM both reduced the cation excess (ΣC−ΣA) but by different mechanisms.
These results suggest that increased uptake of anions by plants with VAM may be a general phenomenom which would have important implications for the elemental composition of crops. The effect may also be manifested by other types of mycorrhizal association.
Key wordsAnion uptake Barley Hordeum vulgare Mycorrhiza Phosphorus pH Rhizosphere Triticum aestivum Wheat
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