The role of phosphorus, magnesium and potassium availability in soil fungal exploration of mineral nutrient sources in Norway spruce forests

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We investigated fungal growth and community composition in buried meshbags, amended with apatite, biotite or hornblende, in Norway spruce (Picea abies) forests of varying nutrient status. Norway spruce needles and soil collected from forests overlying serpentinite had low levels of potassium and phosphorus, those from granite had low levels of magnesium, whereas those from amphibolite had comparably high levels of these nutrients. We assayed the fungal colonization of meshbags by measuring ergosterol content and fungal community with 454 sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer region. In addition, we measured fine root density. Fungal biomass was increased by apatite amendment across all plots and particularly on the K- and P-deficient serpentinite plots, whereas hornblende and biotite had no effect on fungal biomass on any plots. Fungal community (total fungal and ectomycorrhizal) composition was affected strongly by sampling location and soil depth, whereas mineral amendments had no effect on community composition. Fine root biomass was significantly correlated with fungal biomass. Ectomycorrhizal communities may respond to increased host-tree phosphorus demand by increased colonization of phosphorus-containing minerals, but this does not appear to translate to a shift in ectomycorrhizal community composition. This growth response to nutrient demand does not appear to exist for potassium or magnesium limitation.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Linnaeus University
  • Hasselt University
  • Czech Geological Survey (CGS)
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Microbiology

Keywords

  • Ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF), Ergosterol, Fungal community composition, Hyphae, Minerals, Norway spruce (Picea abies), Soil nutrients
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-553
Number of pages12
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume211
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes