Arbuscular mycorrhiza contributes to the control of phosphorus loss in paddy fields

  • Shujuan Zhang
  • Xinyue Guo
  • Wenfei Yun
  • Yu Xia
  • Zhaoyang YouEmail author
  • Matthias C. Rillig
Regular Article



Phosphorus (P) loss from paddy fields is a significant issue in sustainable rice production by threatening water environments. We aimed to examine the suitability of mycorrhiza-defective rice (non-mycorrhizal) and its mycorrhizal progenitor to evaluate P loss control via arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. We also aimed to investigate the AM effect on P loss via runoff and leaching.


We grew the two rice lines in microcosms with and without AM fungi, measured P loss via runoff and leaching before and after nitrogen–phosphorus–potassium fertilization, and quantified plant P content and soil P concentration after the final harvest.


Mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal rice pair systems in the absence of AM fungi had similar plant, soil, runoff, and leachate P contents (except PO43−). In the presence of AM fungi, the concentrations of all P forms in runoff water and leachate in mycorrhizal rice were lower than those in nonmycorrhizal rice regardless of their solubility in water and availability to plants. The cumulative P loss from mycorrhizal systems was 10% less than that from their nonmycorrhizal counterparts.


This mycorrhizal/non-mycorrhizal rice pair is an efficient experimental tool for research on the control of P loss from paddy fields with AM fungi. AM colonization contributes to the sustainability of rice production by decreasing P loss from paddy fields.


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Rice Phosphorus Runoff Leaching Paddy fields 



This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (grant no. BK20160689). We thank Miao He for helping with data collection, Haiyang Xu for designing the microcosm, and Ertao Wang and Xiaowei Wang for providing the plant and AM fungus materials.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Urban ConstructionNanjing Tech UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Institut für Biologie, Plant EcologyFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research (BBIB)BerlinGermany

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