Laccaria bicolorS238N improves Scots pine mineral nutrition by increasing root nutrient uptake from soil minerals but does not increase mineral weathering

Calvaruso Christophe; Turpault Marie-Pierre; Uroz Stéphane; Leclerc Elisabeth; Kies Antoine; Frey-Klett Pascale

Plant and Soil 328(1-2): 145-154


ISSN/ISBN: 0032-079X
DOI: 10.1007/s11104-009-0092-0
Accession: 063945045

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The role of ectomycorrhizal fungi on mineral nutrient mobilization and uptake is crucial for tree nutrition and growth in temperate forest ecosystems. By using a "mineral weathering budget" approach, this study aims to quantify the effect of the symbiosis with the ectomycorrhizal model strain Laccaria bicolor S238N on mineral weathering and tree nutrition, carrying out a column experiment with a quartz/biotite substrate. Each column was planted with one Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) non-mycorrhizal or mycorrhizal with L. bicolor, with exception of the abiotic control treatment. The columns were continuously supplied with a nutrient-poor solution. A mineral weathering budget was calculated for K and Mg. The pine shoot growth was significantly increased (73%) when plants were mycorrhizal with L. bicolor. Whatever their mycorrhizal status, pines increased mineral weathering by factors 1.5 to 2.1. No difference between non-mycorrhizal and mycorrhizal pine treatments was revealed, however, mycorrhizal pines assimilated significantly more K and Mg. This suggests that in our experimental conditions, L. bicolor S238N improved shoot growth and K and Mg assimilation in Scots pine mainly by increasing the uptake of dissolved nutrients, linked to a better exploration and exploitation of the soil by the mycorrhizal roots.