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Carbon dynamics in mycorrhizal symbioses is linked to carbon costs and phosphorus benefits

  • Pål Axel Olsson
  • Jannice Rahm
  • Nasser Aliasgharzad
Publishing year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 123-131
Publication/Series: FEMS microbiology ecology
Volume: 72
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract english

Abstract The nutrient and carbon (C) allocation dynamics in mycorrhizal hyphal networks cause variation in costs and benefits for individual plants and fungi and influence the productivity, diversity and C cycling in ecosystems. We manipulated light and phosphorus (P) availability in a pot experiment with Trifolium subterraneum colonised by the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus Glomus intraradices. Stable (13)C-labelling was used to trace assimilated CO(2) to the mycorrhizal fungus in roots and soil using compound-specific isotope ratio mass spectrometry. We used the neutral lipid fatty acid 16:1omega5 as a signature for AM fungal storage lipids. Both P and shading reduced the AM fungal lipid accumulation in the intraradical mycelium, while only P reduced the amount of lipids in the extraradical mycelium. Recently assimilated plant C was only allocated to the mycorrhizal fungus to a small extent when plant mycorrhizal benefit was reduced by P fertilization, while increasing the plant C cost by shading did not reduce the C flow to the fungus. These results are of importance for our conception of mycorrhizal dynamics during periods of shade in nature.


  • Ecology


  • BECC
  • Microbial Ecology
  • ISSN: 1574-6941
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