Publication
Title
Favorable effect of mycorrhizae on biomass production efficiency exceeds their carbon cost in a fertilization experiment
Author
Abstract
Biomass production efficiency (BPE), the ratio of biomass production to photosynthesis, varies greatly among ecosystems and typically increases with increasing nutrient availability. Reduced carbon partitioning to mycorrhizal fungi (i.e., per unit photosynthesis) is the hypothesized underlying mechanism, as mycorrhizal abundance and plant dependence on these symbionts typically decrease with increasing nutrient availability. In a mesocosm experiment with Zea mays, we investigated the effect of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) addition and of mycorrhizal inoculation on BPE. Photosynthesis and respiration were measured at mesocosm scale and at leaf scale. The growth of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) was assessed with ingrowth bags while also making use of the difference in d13C between C4 plants and C3 soil. Mesocosms without AMF, that is, with pasteurized soil, were used to further explore the role of AMF. Plant growth, photosynthesis, and BPE were positively affected by P, but not by N addition. AMF biomass also was slightly higher under P addition, but carbon partitioning to AMF was significantly lower than without P addition. Interestingly, in the absence of AMF, plants that did not receive P died prematurely. Our study confirmed the hypothesis that BPE increases with increasing nutrient availability, and that carbon partitioning to AMF plays a key role in this nutrient effect. The comparison of inoculated vs. pasteurized mesocosms further suggested a lower carbon cost of nutrient uptake via AMF than via other mechanisms under nutrient rich conditions.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Ecology / Ecological Society of America [Washington, D.C.] - Washington, DC, 1920, currens
Publication
Washington, DC : 2018
ISSN
0012-9658 [print]
1939-9170 [online]
Volume/pages
99:11(2018), p. 2525-2534
ISI
000449937900012
Pubmed ID
30218450
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Project info
Effects of phosphorus limitations on Life, Earth system and Society (IMBALANCE-P).
Global Ecosystem Functioning and Interactions with Global Change.
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 03.10.2018
Last edited 15.07.2021
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