Uncoupling the effects of phosphorus and precipitation on arbuscular mycorrhizas in the Serengeti

Jeffrey Ryan Propster, Nancy Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and aims: The Serengeti grassland is characterized by antiparallel gradients of soil phosphorus (P) and precipitation. We hypothesized that grasses associate with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi to ameliorate water stress and improve nutrient acquisition; and, that geographic patterns in AM fungal abundance relate to nutrient and water limitation of host plants. Methods: We conducted a factorial experiment to uncouple the interacting effects of soil type, P, and water availability on AM fungal abundance. Maize was grown in pots of soil collected from three locations across the natural gradients. Full factorial treatments of +/− P fertilization and high/low water were administered to all three soils. Results: Abundance of AM hyphae in soil was reduced by fertilization in high-P soil and increased with fertilization in low-P soil. Phosphorus uptake efficiency of mycorrhizas was greatest in low-P soil. Water-limited plants grown in arid region soil allocated relatively more biomass to AM fungi. Conclusions: The formation of AM fungi in each soil was most strongly linked to the most limiting belowground resource. Interactions among soil properties, water availability and variation in the community composition of AM fungi are likely to influence the abundance and function of AM symbioses the Serengeti.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-34
Number of pages14
JournalPlant and Soil
Volume388
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Fingerprint

vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae
phosphorus
soil
mycorrhizal fungi
fungus
water availability
water
effect
nutrient
nutrients
symbiosis
mycorrhizae
arid region
water stress
arid zones
hyphae
host plant
community composition
soil type
soil types

Keywords

  • Arbuscular mycorrhizas
  • Functional equilibrium
  • Phosphorus uptake efficiency
  • Resource gradients
  • Soil pH
  • Water stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Uncoupling the effects of phosphorus and precipitation on arbuscular mycorrhizas in the Serengeti. / Propster, Jeffrey Ryan; Johnson, Nancy.

In: Plant and Soil, Vol. 388, No. 1-2, 2015, p. 21-34.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{69116c82c7aa4483b0313fb03ca9d9d2,
title = "Uncoupling the effects of phosphorus and precipitation on arbuscular mycorrhizas in the Serengeti",
abstract = "Background and aims: The Serengeti grassland is characterized by antiparallel gradients of soil phosphorus (P) and precipitation. We hypothesized that grasses associate with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi to ameliorate water stress and improve nutrient acquisition; and, that geographic patterns in AM fungal abundance relate to nutrient and water limitation of host plants. Methods: We conducted a factorial experiment to uncouple the interacting effects of soil type, P, and water availability on AM fungal abundance. Maize was grown in pots of soil collected from three locations across the natural gradients. Full factorial treatments of +/− P fertilization and high/low water were administered to all three soils. Results: Abundance of AM hyphae in soil was reduced by fertilization in high-P soil and increased with fertilization in low-P soil. Phosphorus uptake efficiency of mycorrhizas was greatest in low-P soil. Water-limited plants grown in arid region soil allocated relatively more biomass to AM fungi. Conclusions: The formation of AM fungi in each soil was most strongly linked to the most limiting belowground resource. Interactions among soil properties, water availability and variation in the community composition of AM fungi are likely to influence the abundance and function of AM symbioses the Serengeti.",
keywords = "Arbuscular mycorrhizas, Functional equilibrium, Phosphorus uptake efficiency, Resource gradients, Soil pH, Water stress",
author = "Propster, {Jeffrey Ryan} and Nancy Johnson",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1007/s11104-014-2369-1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "388",
pages = "21--34",
journal = "Plant and Soil",
issn = "0032-079X",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",
number = "1-2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Uncoupling the effects of phosphorus and precipitation on arbuscular mycorrhizas in the Serengeti

AU - Propster, Jeffrey Ryan

AU - Johnson, Nancy

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Background and aims: The Serengeti grassland is characterized by antiparallel gradients of soil phosphorus (P) and precipitation. We hypothesized that grasses associate with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi to ameliorate water stress and improve nutrient acquisition; and, that geographic patterns in AM fungal abundance relate to nutrient and water limitation of host plants. Methods: We conducted a factorial experiment to uncouple the interacting effects of soil type, P, and water availability on AM fungal abundance. Maize was grown in pots of soil collected from three locations across the natural gradients. Full factorial treatments of +/− P fertilization and high/low water were administered to all three soils. Results: Abundance of AM hyphae in soil was reduced by fertilization in high-P soil and increased with fertilization in low-P soil. Phosphorus uptake efficiency of mycorrhizas was greatest in low-P soil. Water-limited plants grown in arid region soil allocated relatively more biomass to AM fungi. Conclusions: The formation of AM fungi in each soil was most strongly linked to the most limiting belowground resource. Interactions among soil properties, water availability and variation in the community composition of AM fungi are likely to influence the abundance and function of AM symbioses the Serengeti.

AB - Background and aims: The Serengeti grassland is characterized by antiparallel gradients of soil phosphorus (P) and precipitation. We hypothesized that grasses associate with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi to ameliorate water stress and improve nutrient acquisition; and, that geographic patterns in AM fungal abundance relate to nutrient and water limitation of host plants. Methods: We conducted a factorial experiment to uncouple the interacting effects of soil type, P, and water availability on AM fungal abundance. Maize was grown in pots of soil collected from three locations across the natural gradients. Full factorial treatments of +/− P fertilization and high/low water were administered to all three soils. Results: Abundance of AM hyphae in soil was reduced by fertilization in high-P soil and increased with fertilization in low-P soil. Phosphorus uptake efficiency of mycorrhizas was greatest in low-P soil. Water-limited plants grown in arid region soil allocated relatively more biomass to AM fungi. Conclusions: The formation of AM fungi in each soil was most strongly linked to the most limiting belowground resource. Interactions among soil properties, water availability and variation in the community composition of AM fungi are likely to influence the abundance and function of AM symbioses the Serengeti.

KW - Arbuscular mycorrhizas

KW - Functional equilibrium

KW - Phosphorus uptake efficiency

KW - Resource gradients

KW - Soil pH

KW - Water stress

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84925487052&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84925487052&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s11104-014-2369-1

DO - 10.1007/s11104-014-2369-1

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84925487052

VL - 388

SP - 21

EP - 34

JO - Plant and Soil

JF - Plant and Soil

SN - 0032-079X

IS - 1-2

ER -