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Mycorrhizal fungi struggle when soil P is extremely low

posted Dec 22, 2015, 7:29 AM by Etienne Laliberté
Mycorrhizal fungi are root symbionts of plants, and their main benefit to plants is thought to enhance the acquisition of soil phosophorus. However, when soils become extremely old and phosphorus-impoverished, it seems that the mycorrhizal strategy becomes ineffective. Our new study shows that extraradical mycorrhizal hyphal biomass is indeed extremely low in old, phosphorus-impoverished soils. This suggests that plants reduce carbon allocation to mycorrhizal fungi when phosphorus becomes extremely low, or that mycorrhizal fungi struggle to acquire the phosphorus they need for their own growth.

We published this new article in Soil Biology and Biochemistry. It can be downloaded from this page.