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Rhizodeposition of organic carbon by plants with contrasting traits for resource acquisition: responses to different fertility regimes
Baptist, Florence; Aranjuelo, Íker; Legay, Nicolás; López-Sangil, Luis; Molero, Gemma; Rovira, Pere; Nogués Mestres, Salvador
Universitat de Barcelona
Background and aims Rhizodeposition plays an important role in mediating soil nutrient availability in ecosystems. However, owing to methodological difficulties (i.e., narrow zone of soil around roots, rapid assimilation by soil microbes) fertility-induced changes in rhizodeposition remain mostly unknown. Methods We developed a novel long-term continuous 13C labelling method to address the effects of two levels of nitrogen (N) fertilization on rhizodeposited carbon (C) by species with different nutrient acquisition strategies. Results Fertility-induced changes in rhizodeposition were modulated by root responses to N availability rather than by changes in soil microbial biomass. Differences among species were mostly related to plant biomass: species with higher total leaf and root biomass also had higher total rhizodeposited C, whereas species with lower root biomass had higher specific rhizodeposited C (per gram root mass). Experimental controls demonstrated that most of the biases commonly associated with this type of experiment (i.e., long-term steady-state labelling) were avoided using our methodological approach. Conclusions These results suggest that the amount of rhizodeposited C from plants grown under different levels of N were driven mainly by plant biomass and root morphology rather than microbial biomass. They also underline the importance of plant characteristics (i.e., biomass allocation) as opposed to traits associated with plant resource acquisition strategies in predicting total C rhizodeposition.
Diòxid de carboni
Assimilació de les plantes
Carbon dioxide
Plants assimilation
(c) Springer Verlag, 2015
Springer Verlag

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