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The effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on total plant nitrogen uptake and nitrogen recovery from soil organic material

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 February 2013

S. SAIA
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Forestali, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, 90128 Palermo, Italy
E. BENÍTEZ
Affiliation:
Department of Environmental Protection, Estación Experimental del Zaidín, CSIC, c/Prof. Albareda 1, 18008 Granada, Spain
J. M. GARCÍA-GARRIDO
Affiliation:
Department of Soil Microbiology and Symbiotic Systems, Estación Experimental del Zaidín, CSIC, c/Prof. Albareda 1, 18008 Granada, Spain
L. SETTANNI
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Forestali, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, 90128 Palermo, Italy
G. AMATO*
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Forestali, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, 90128 Palermo, Italy
D. GIAMBALVO
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Forestali, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, 90128 Palermo, Italy
*
*To whom all correspondence should be addressed. Email: gaetano.amato@unipa.it

Summary

Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi increase nitrogen (N) uptake by their host plants, but their role in plant N capture from soil organic material is still unclear. In particular, it is not clear if AM fungi compete with the host plant for the N coming from the decomposing organic matter (OM), especially when the AM extraradical mycelium (ERM) and plant roots share the same soil volume. The goal of the present research was to study the effects of AM fungi on wheat N capture after the addition of 15N-labelled OM to soil. Durum wheat (Triticum durum) was grown under controlled conditions in a sand:soil mix and the following treatments were applied: (1) AM inoculation with Glomus mosseae and uninoculated control; and (2) soil amended with 15N-enriched maize leaves and unamended soil. The addition of OM reduced plant growth and N uptake. The AM fungi increased both plant growth and N uptake compared with uninoculated control plants and the effect was enhanced when wheat was grown in soil amended with OM compared with the unamended control. Although AM fungi increased soil N mineralization rates and total plant N uptake, they strongly reduced wheat N recovery from OM, suggesting that AM fungi have marked effects on competition between plants and bacteria for the different N sources in soil.

Type
Crops and Soils Research Papers
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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