Plant and Soil

, Volume 264, Issue 1–2, pp 185–194 | Cite as

Simulated herbivory effects on rhizosphere organisms in pea (Pisum sativum) depended on phosphate

  • Marzcia Elisa Camille Techau
  • Lisa Bjørnlund
  • Søren Christensen


The effects of simulated aboveground herbivory and phosphate addition to soil on rhizosphere organisms (arbuscular mychorrhiza (AM), Rhizobium spp., bacteria, protozoa and nematodes) were studied in a 2 by 2 factorial designed pot experiment with Pea plants (Pisum sativum). Measurements were performed on 24 day old plants that were still in the nutrient acquisition phase before flowering. AM colonization and bacterial feeding nematodes were stimulated by high simulated her- bivory especially when plants were phosphate deficient. Total number of nematodes was higher with phosphate deficiency. Furthermore, non-significant peak values in soil respiration, total number of nematodes, and bacterial number were observed in phosphate deficient plants with high simulated herbivory. In phosphate amended plants, fast-growing protozoa and bacterial feeding nematodes decreased at high simulated herbivory. These results support the hypothesis that the plant regulates abundances of both AM and free-living rhizosphere organisms and thereby the amount of plant-available nutrients, according to demand via root exudation. Rhizobium spp. was significantly stimulated by phosphate addition but not affected by simulated herbivory. Metabolites produced by rhizosphere bacteria from plants exposed to high simulated herbivory in phosphate amended soil stimulated seed performance. Possible interactions between protozoa and nematodes in relation to production and composition of bacteria in the rhizosphere are discussed.

AM-colonization bacteria nematodes pea protozoa Rhizobium rhizosphere simulated leaf herbivory 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marzcia Elisa Camille Techau
    • 1
  • Lisa Bjørnlund
    • 1
  • Søren Christensen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Terrestrial Ecology, Zoological InstituteUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen ØDenmark

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