Depleted 15N in hydrolysable-N of arctic soils and its implication for mycorrhizal fungi–plant interaction
Shaver, Gaius R.
Giblin, Anne E.
Rastetter, Edward B.
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SubjectN-15; Arctic tundra; Mycorrhizal fungi; Decomposition; Hydrolysable amino acids; Plant-fungal interaction
Uptake of nitrogen (N) via root-mycorrhizal associations accounts for a significant portion of total N supply to many vascular plants. Using stable isotope ratios (δ15N) and the mass balance among N pools of plants, fungal tissues, and soils, a number of efforts have been made in recent years to quantify the flux of N from mycorrhizal fungi to host plants. Current estimates of this flux for arctic tundra ecosystems rely on the untested assumption that the δ15N of labile organic N taken up by the fungi is approximately the same as the δ15N of bulk soil. We report here hydrolysable amino acids are more depleted in 15N relative to hydrolysable ammonium and amino sugars in arctic tundra soils near Toolik Lake, Alaska, USA. We demonstrate, using a case study, that recognizing the depletion in 15N for hydrolysable amino acids (δ15N = -5.6 ‰ on average) would alter recent estimates of N flux between mycorrhizal fungi and host plants in an arctic tundra ecosystem.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2009. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Springer for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Biogeochemistry 97 (2009): 183-194, doi:10.1007/s10533-009-9365-1.
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