Uptake of P from apatite by Pinus sylvestris seedlings colonised by different ectomycorrhizal fungi
- Cite this article as:
- Wallander, H. Plant and Soil (2000) 218: 249. doi:10.1023/A:1014936217105
The role of ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi in increasing apatite dissolution was tested in a pot system with Pinus sylvestris (L.) seedlings growing in a sand/peat mixture. Non-mycorrhizal seedlings and seedlings inoculated with one of three different isolates of EM fungi were grown for 210 days in pots divided into a root-containing and a root-free compartment. The EM mycelium was allowed to colonise the root-free compartment, to which apatite had been added as a P source in half of the pots. All mineral nutrients except P were supplied in the form of a balanced nutrient solution. Seedlings grown with apatite as their P source grew significantly better and had higher P concentrations (1.1–1.5 mg/g) compared with seedlings growing without any P source (0.6–1.0 mg/g), indicating that they were able to use apatite-P. A weathering budget based on P uptake indicated that 6.7–18.9 mg apatite was weathered per pot which corresponds to 0.3–0.9% of the added apatite. A similar budget based on Sr uptake indicated that the apatite weathering rate was lower (0.13-0.3%). One Suillus variegatus isolate and an unidentified fungus had a significant positive influence on the dissolution of apatite, while another S. variegatus isolate had colonised roots poorly and did not influence weathering significantly. Oxalic acid was detected in root-free soil and was especially abundant in compartments colonised by S. variegatus. The concentration of oxalic acid was correlated to the concentration of phosphate in the soil solution of root-free soil, indicating that oxalic acid influences apatite dissolution.