Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Seasonal carbon allocation to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi assessed by microscopic examination, stable isotope probing and fatty acid analysis

  • Ylva Lekberg
  • Soren Rosendahl
  • Anders Michelsen
  • Pål Axel Olsson
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 547-555
Publication/Series: Plant and Soil
Volume: 368
Issue: 1-2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

Background and Aim Climate change models are limited by lack of baseline data, in particular carbon (C) allocation to - and dynamics within - soil microbial communities. We quantified seasonal C-assimilation and allocation by plants, and assessed how well this corresponds with intraradical arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) storage and structural lipids (16: 1 omega 5 NLFA and PLFA, respectively), as well as microscopic assessments of AMF root colonization. Methods Coastal Hypochoeris radicata plants were labeled with (CO2)-C-13 in February, July and October, and C-13-allocation to fine roots and NLFA 16: 1 omega 5, as well as overall lipid contents and AM colonization were quantified. Results C-allocation to fine roots and AMF storage lipids differed seasonally and mirrored plant C-assimilation, whereas AMF structural lipids and AM colonization showed no seasonal variation, and root colonization exceeded 80 % throughout the year. Molecular analyzes of the large subunit rDNA gene indicated no seasonal AMF community shifts. Conclusions Plants allocated C to AMF even at temperatures close to freezing, and fungal structures persisted in roots during times of low C-allocation. The lack of seasonal differences in PLFA and AM colonization indicates that NLFA analyses should be used to estimate fungal C-status. The implication of our findings for AM function is discussed.


  • Ecology
  • Arbuscular mycorrhiza
  • Carbon allocation
  • Grassland
  • Lipid analysis
  • Season
  • Stable isotope probing


  • BECC
  • ISSN: 0032-079X
Pål Axel Olsson
E-mail: pal_axel [dot] olsson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se



+46 46 222 42 47



Research group

Plant Biology



Doctoral students and postdocs

PhD students, main supervisor

Theodor Kindeberg

PhD students, assistant supervisor