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

Xubing Liu, David F R P Burslem, Joe D. Taylor, Andrew F S Taylor, Eyen Khoo, Noreen Majalap-Lee, Thorunn Helgason, David Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-723
Number of pages11
JournalEcology Letters
Volume21
Issue number5
Early online date13 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

Fingerprint

partitioning
phosphorus
soil
phytic acid
mycorrhizal fungi
coexistence
colonization
fungus
acid

Keywords

  • mycorrhizal fungi
  • phosphate
  • seedling growth
  • soil organic phosphorus
  • resource partitioning
  • tropical and subtropical forests

Cite this

Partitioning of soil phosphorus among arbuscular and ectomycorrhizal trees in tropical and subtropical forests. / Liu, Xubing; Burslem, David F R P; Taylor, Joe D.; Taylor, Andrew F S; Khoo, Eyen; Majalap-Lee, Noreen ; Helgason, Thorunn; Johnson, David .

In: Ecology Letters, Vol. 21, No. 5, 05.2018, p. 713-723.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Liu, Xubing ; Burslem, David F R P ; Taylor, Joe D. ; Taylor, Andrew F S ; Khoo, Eyen ; Majalap-Lee, Noreen ; Helgason, Thorunn ; Johnson, David . / Partitioning of soil phosphorus among arbuscular and ectomycorrhizal trees in tropical and subtropical forests. In: Ecology Letters. 2018 ; Vol. 21, No. 5. pp. 713-723.
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