Partitioning of soil phosphorus among arbuscular and ectomycorrhizal trees in tropical and subtropical forests

Liu, X, Burslem, DFRP, Taylor, JD ORCID:, Taylor, AFS, Khoo, E, Majalap-Lee, N, Helgason, T and Johnson, D 2018, 'Partitioning of soil phosphorus among arbuscular and ectomycorrhizal trees in tropical and subtropical forests' , Ecology letters, 21 (5) , pp. 713-723.

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Partitioning of soil phosphorus (P) pools has been proposed as a key mechanism maintaining plant diversity, but experimental support is lacking. Here, we provided different chemical forms of P to 15 tree species with contrasting root symbiotic relationships to investigate plant P acquisition in both tropical and subtropical forests. Both ectomycorrhizal (ECM) and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) trees responded positively to addition of inorganic P, but strikingly, ECM trees acquired more P from a complex organic form (phytic acid). Most ECM tree species and all AM tree species also showed some capacity to take up simple organic P (monophosphate). Mycorrhizal colonisation was negatively correlated with soil extractable P concentration, suggesting that mycorrhizal fungi may regulate organic P acquisition among tree species. Our results support the hypothesis that ECM and AM plants partition soil P sources, which may play an ecologically important role in promoting species coexistence in tropical and subtropical forests.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Ecology letters
Publisher: Wiley Online Library
ISSN: 1461-0248
Related URLs:
Funders: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Depositing User: JD Taylor
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2018 07:35
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 23:04

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