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

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22 Citations (Scopus)
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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

Keywords

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

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

    Liu, X. (Creator), Burslem, D. (Creator), Taylor, J. D. (Creator), Taylor, A. F. S. (Creator), Khoo, E. (Creator), Majalap-Lee, N. (Creator), Helgason, T. (Creator) & Johnson, D. (Creator), Figshare, 15 Feb 2018

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