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Plant nutrient acquisition: more than one way to skin a cat in infertile soils

posted Mar 13, 2015, 10:19 AM by Etienne Laliberté
PhD student Graham Zemunik has just had the first chapter of this thesis accepted in the new journal Nature Plants. Congratulations Graham! Graham's study shows that the diversity of plant-nutrient acquisition strategies (i.e. different types of mycorrhizal association, ability to fix N, non-mycorrhizal types, carnivory, parasitism, etc) increases as soils get progressively more nutrient-imporverished during long-term soil development. Moreover, mycorrhizal plants are more abundant in young, relatively fertile soils but because progressively less abundant with declining fertility (especially P availability), while non-mycorrhizal plant species increase in abundance.