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Contrasting effects of nitrogen availability on plant carbon supply to mycorrhizal fungi and saprotrophs - a hypothesis based on field observations in boreal forest

Högberg, Mona N.; Bååth, Erland LU ; Nordgren, Anders; Arnebrant, Kristina LU and Högberg, Peter (2003) In New Phytologist 160(1). p.225-238
Abstract
Soil microorganisms are considered C-limited, while plant productivity is frequently N-limited. Large stores of organic C in boreal forest soils are attributed to negative effects of low temperature, soil acidity and plant residue recalcitrance upon microbial activity.

We examined microbial activity, biomass and community composition along a natural 90-m-long soil N supply gradient, where plant species composition varies profoundly, forest productivity three-fold and soil pH by three units.

There was, however, no significant variation in soil respiration in the field across the gradient. Neither did microbial biomass C determined by fumigation-extraction vary, while other estimates of activity and biomass showed a weak... (More)
Soil microorganisms are considered C-limited, while plant productivity is frequently N-limited. Large stores of organic C in boreal forest soils are attributed to negative effects of low temperature, soil acidity and plant residue recalcitrance upon microbial activity.

We examined microbial activity, biomass and community composition along a natural 90-m-long soil N supply gradient, where plant species composition varies profoundly, forest productivity three-fold and soil pH by three units.

There was, however, no significant variation in soil respiration in the field across the gradient. Neither did microbial biomass C determined by fumigation-extraction vary, while other estimates of activity and biomass showed a weak increase with increasing N supply and soil pH. Simultaneously, a phospholipid fatty acid attributed mainly to mycorrhizal fungi declined drastically, while bacterial biomass increased.

We hypothesize that low N supply and plant productivity, and hence low litter C supply to saprotrophs is associated with a high plant C supply to mycorrhizal fungi, while the reverse occurs under high N supply. This should mean that effects of N availability on C supply to these functional groups of microbes acts in opposing directions. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
New Phytologist
volume
160
issue
1
pages
225 - 238
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • wos:000185557300025
  • scopus:0141795442
ISSN
1469-8137
DOI
10.1046/j.1469-8137.2003.00867.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a4c08df7-5b32-443d-a5bf-650fa0744ac4 (old id 132888)
date added to LUP
2007-06-29 09:59:00
date last changed
2018-01-28 03:32:36
@article{a4c08df7-5b32-443d-a5bf-650fa0744ac4,
  abstract     = {Soil microorganisms are considered C-limited, while plant productivity is frequently N-limited. Large stores of organic C in boreal forest soils are attributed to negative effects of low temperature, soil acidity and plant residue recalcitrance upon microbial activity.<br/><br>
We examined microbial activity, biomass and community composition along a natural 90-m-long soil N supply gradient, where plant species composition varies profoundly, forest productivity three-fold and soil pH by three units.<br/><br>
There was, however, no significant variation in soil respiration in the field across the gradient. Neither did microbial biomass C determined by fumigation-extraction vary, while other estimates of activity and biomass showed a weak increase with increasing N supply and soil pH. Simultaneously, a phospholipid fatty acid attributed mainly to mycorrhizal fungi declined drastically, while bacterial biomass increased.<br/><br>
We hypothesize that low N supply and plant productivity, and hence low litter C supply to saprotrophs is associated with a high plant C supply to mycorrhizal fungi, while the reverse occurs under high N supply. This should mean that effects of N availability on C supply to these functional groups of microbes acts in opposing directions.},
  author       = {Högberg, Mona N. and Bååth, Erland and Nordgren, Anders and Arnebrant, Kristina and Högberg, Peter},
  issn         = {1469-8137},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {225--238},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {New Phytologist},
  title        = {Contrasting effects of nitrogen availability on plant carbon supply to mycorrhizal fungi and saprotrophs - a hypothesis based on field observations in boreal forest},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1469-8137.2003.00867.x},
  volume       = {160},
  year         = {2003},
}