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Nitrogen leaching and ectomycorrhizal nitrogen retention capacity in a Norway spruce forest fertilized with nitrogen and phosphorus

  • Adam Bahr
  • Magnus Ellström
  • Johan Bergh
  • Håkan Wallander
Publishing year: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 323-335
Publication/Series: Plant and Soil
Volume: 390
Issue: 1-2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

To estimate the production of external ectomycorrhizal mycelia (EMM) in Norway spruce forests with varying nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) levels, and to relate this to the N retention capacity of ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF) and N leaching. Seasonal changes in EMF production (in ingrowth mesh bags) and soil water N (in suction lysimeters) were analyzed after fertilization with N or N combined with P. The EMF N retention capacity was estimated by the addition of isotopically labeled N to the mesh bags. No relationship was found between the seasonal variation in EMF growth and N leakage from the soil. However, in the mesh bags, the total assimilation of N-15 by EMF was almost halved by N fertilization, while twice as much N-15 leached through. We found a high specific N assimilation capacity per unit weight of EMF mycelia. This was unaffected by N fertilization, but the total assimilation of N by EMF was drastically reduced due to reduced production of EMM. However, N-retaining processes other than N assimilation by EMF must be taken into account to explain the losses of N after fertilization.


  • Biological Sciences
  • leaching
  • Nitrogen retention
  • Phosphorus
  • Ectomycorrhiza
  • Nitrogen
  • Mycelium
  • Norway spruce


  • MICCS - Molecular Interactions Controlling soil Carbon Sequestration
  • Microbial Ecology
  • ISSN: 0032-079X
Håkan Wallander
E-mail: hakan [dot] wallander [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se



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