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Mycorrhizal fungi supply nitrogen to host plants in Arctic tundra and boreal forests : 15N is the key signal

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dc.contributor.author Hobbie, John E.
dc.contributor.author Hobbie, Erik A.
dc.contributor.author Drossman, Howard
dc.contributor.author Conte, Maureen H.
dc.contributor.author Weber, John C.
dc.contributor.author Shamhart, Julee
dc.contributor.author Weinrobe, Melissa
dc.date.accessioned 2009-08-05T13:39:43Z
dc.date.available 2009-08-05T13:39:43Z
dc.date.issued 2009-02-03
dc.identifier.citation Canadian Journal of Microbiology 55 (2009): 84-94 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1912/2902
dc.description Author Posting. © NRC Research Press, 2009. This article is posted here by permission of NRC Research Press for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Canadian Journal of Microbiology 55 (2009): 84-94, doi:10.1139/W08-127. en
dc.description.abstract Symbiotic fungi’s role in providing nitrogen to host plants is well-studied in tundra at Toolik Lake, Alaska, but little-studied in the adjoining boreal forest ecosystem. Along a 570 km north–south transect from the Yukon River to the North Slope of Alaska, the 15N content was strongly reduced in ectomycorrhizal and ericoid mycorrhizal plants including Betula, Salix, Picea mariana (P. Mill.) B.S.P., Picea glauca Moench (Voss), and ericaceous plants. Compared with the 15N content of soil, the foliage of nonmycorrhizal plants (Carex and Eriophorum) was unchanged, whereas content of the ectomycorrhizal fungi was very much higher (e.g., Boletaceae, Leccinum and Cortinarius). It is hypothesized that similar processes operate in tundra and boreal forest, both nitrogen-limited ecosystems: (i) mycorrhizal fungi break down soil polymers and take up amino acids or other nitrogen compounds; (ii) mycorrhizal fungi fractionate against 15N during production of transfer compounds; (iii) host plants are accordingly depleted in 15N; and (iv) mycorrhizal fungi are enriched in 15N. Increased N availability for plant roots or decreased light availability to understory plants may have decreased N allocation to mycorrhizal partners and increased δ15N by 3‰–4‰ for southern populations of Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. and Salix. Fungal biomass, measured as ergosterol, correlated strongly with soil organic matter and attained amounts similar to those in temperate forest soils. en
dc.description.sponsorship This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF OPP-0612598 and NSF DEB-0614266). en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.format.mimetype application/vnd.ms-excel
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher NRC Research Press en
dc.relation.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/W08-127
dc.subject Mycorrhizal fungi en
dc.subject N-15 en
dc.subject Nitrogen cycling en
dc.subject Symbiosis en
dc.subject Nitrogen isotopes en
dc.title Mycorrhizal fungi supply nitrogen to host plants in Arctic tundra and boreal forests : 15N is the key signal en
dc.type Article en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1139/W08-127


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