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Interactive effects of temperature and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on growth, P uptake and root respiration of Capsicum annuum L.

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Capsicum annuum (pepper) plants were inoculated with the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi Glomus intraradices Smith and Schenck, an undescribed Glomus sp. (AZ 112) or a mixture of these isolates. Control plants were non-mycorrhizal. Plants were grown for 8 weeks at moderate (20.7–25.4°C) or high (32.1–38°C) temperatures. Colonization of pepper roots by G. intraradices or the Glomus isolate mixture was lower at high than at moderate temperatures, but colonization by Glomus AZ112 was somewhat increased at high temperatures. Pepper shoot and root dry weights and leaf P levels were affected by an interaction between temperature and AM fungal treatments. At moderate temperatures, shoot dry weights of plants colonized by the Glomus isolate mixture or non-AM plants were highest, while root dry weights were highest for non-AM plants. At high temperatures, plants colonized by Glomus AZ112 or the non-AM plants had the lowest shoot and root dry weights. AM plants had generally higher leaf P levels at moderate temperatures and lower P levels at high temperatures than non-AM plants. AM plants also had generally higher specific soil respiration than non-AM plants regardless of temperature treatment. At moderate temperatures, P uptake by all AM plants was enhanced relative to non-AM plants but there was no corresponding enhancement of growth, possibly because less carbon was invested in root growth or root respiratory costs increased. At high temperatures, pepper growth with the G. intraradices isolate and the Glomus isolate mixture was enhanced relative to non-AM controls, despite reduced levels of AM colonization and, therefore, apparently less fungal P transfer to the plant.

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Correspondence to Chris A. Martin.

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Martin, C.A., Stutz, J.C. Interactive effects of temperature and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on growth, P uptake and root respiration of Capsicum annuum L.. Mycorrhiza 14, 241–244 (2004).

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