Arbuscular mycorrhizas reduce nitrogen loss via leaching

Hamid Reza Asghari, Timothy Cavagnaro

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61 Citations (Scopus)


The capacity of mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal root systems to reduce nitrate (NO3-) and ammonium (NH4+) loss from soils via leaching was investigated in a microcosm-based study. A mycorrhiza defective tomato mutant and its mycorrhizal wildtype progenitor were used in this experiment in order to avoid the indirect effects of establishing non-mycorrhizal control treatments on soil nitrogen cycling and the wider soil biota. Mycorrhizal root systems dramatically reduced nitrate loss (almost 40 times less) via leaching, compared to their non-mycorrhizal counterparts, following a pulse application of ammonium nitrate to experimental microcosms. The capacity of AM to reduce nutrient loss via leaching has received relatively little attention, but as demonstrated here, can be significant. Taken together, these data highlight the need to consider the potential benefits of AM beyond improvements in plant nutrition alone.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere29825
Pages (from-to)151 - 155
Number of pages5
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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