How interacting fungal species and mineral nitrogen inputs affect transfer of nitrogen from litter via arbuscular mycorrhizal mycelium

Yuejun He*, J. Hans C. Cornelissen, Zhangcheng Zhong, Ming Dong, Changhong Jiang

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    Abstract

    In the karst landscape, widespread in the world including southern China, soil nutrient supply is strongly constrained. In such environments, arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi may facilitate plant nutrient uptake. However, the possible role of different AM fungal species, and their interactions, especially in transferring nitrogen (N) from litter to plant, is poorly understood. We conducted two microcosm experiments to investigate the role that two karst soil AM fungi, Glomus etunicatum and Glomus mosseae, play in the transfer of N from decomposing litter to the host plant and to determine how N availability influences these processes. In experiment 1, Cinnamomum camphora tree seedlings were grown in compartments inoculated with G. etunicatum. Lolium perenne leaf litter labeled with δ15N was added to the soil in unplanted compartments. Compartments containing the δ15N labeled litter were either accessible to hyphae but not to seedling roots or were not accessible to hyphae or roots. The addition of mineral N to one of the host compartments at the start of the experiment significantly increased the biomass of the C. camphora seedlings, N content and N:P ratio, AM mycelium length, and soil microbial biomass carbon and N. However, significantly, more δ15N was acquired, from the leaf litter by the AM hyphae and transferred to the host when mineral N was not added to the soil. In experiment 2, in which C. camphora seedlings were inoculated with both G. etunicatum and G. mosseae rather than with G. mosseae alone, there was a significant increase in mycelial growth (50.21%), in soil microbial biomass carbon (417.73%) in the rhizosphere, and in the amount of δ15N that was transferred to the host. These findings suggest that maintaining AM fungal diversity in karst soils could be important for mediating N transfer from organic material to host plants in N-poor soils.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)9791-9801
    Number of pages11
    JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research International
    Volume24
    Issue number10
    Early online date3 Mar 2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

    Funding

    This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC; 31360106, 31000204, 31660156), the Provincial Key Technologies R&D Program of Guizhou Province of China (NY[2014]3029; support [2016]2805), and the Special Program Foundation on Training the Young Talents for Science and Technology by Guizhou Province (Qian-ke-he-ren [2013]10). We thank Dr. Xinhua He (School of Plant Biology, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, 6009, Australia) for his valuable suggestions for this paper. We are grateful to the Institute of Plant and Natural Resources, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Science of China, for providing G. etunicatum (BGCAM 0046) and G. mosseae (BGCAM 0012) for use in our experiments. We thank Dr. Jiangping Tao, Dr. Bo Zeng, Dr. Qiong Ran, and Dr. Jinchun Liu (Life Science College of Southwest University) for helping us with this research. We thank Prof. Guijie Ding, Dr. Lifei Yu, Dr. Jiming Liu, Dr. Delu Wang, and Dr. Xiaoli Wei (Forestry College of Guizhou University) for supporting the research.

    FundersFunder number
    Provincial Key Technologies R&D Program of Guizhou Province of China[2016]2805
    Special Program Foundation on Training the Young Talents for Science and Technology by Guizhou ProvinceQian-ke-he-ren [2013]10)
    National Natural Science Foundation of China31660156, 31000204, 31360106

      Keywords

      • Arbuscular mycorrhizae
      • Litter
      • Nitrogen
      • Transfer

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