Extraradical hyphae exhibit more plastic nutrient-acquisition strategies than roots under nitrogen enrichment in ectomycorrhiza-dominated forests

Xiaomin Zhu, Hans Lambers, Wanji Guo, Dongdong Chen, Zhanfeng Liu, Ziliang Zhang, Huajun Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) functional traits related to nutrient acquisition are impacted by nitrogen (N) deposition. However, less is known about whether these nutrient-acquisition traits associated with roots and hyphae differentially respond to increased N deposition in ECM-dominated forests with different initial N status. We conducted a chronic N addition experiment (25 kg N ha(-1) year(-1)) in two ECM-dominated forests with contrasting initial N status, that is, a Pinus armandii forest (with relatively low N availability) and a Picea asperata forest (with relatively high N availability), to assess nutrient-mining and nutrient-foraging strategies associated with roots and hyphae under N addition. We show that nutrient-acquisition strategies of roots and hyphae differently respond to increased N addition. Root nutrient-acquisition strategies showed a consistent response to N addition, regardless of initial forest nutrient status, shifting from organic N mining toward inorganic N foraging. In contrast, the hyphal nutrient-acquisition strategy showed diverse responses to N addition depending on initial forest N status. In the Pinus armandii forest, trees increased belowground carbon (C) allocation to ECM fungi thus enhancing hyphal N-mining capacity under increased N availability. By comparison, in the Picea asperata forest, ECM fungi enhanced both capacities of P foraging and P mining in response to N-induced P limitation. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that ECM fungal hyphae exhibit greater plasticity in nutrient-mining and nutrient-foraging strategies than roots do in response to changes of nutrient status induced by N deposition. This study highlights the importance of ECM associations in tree acclimation and forest function stability under changing environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4605-4619
Number of pages15
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Volume29
Issue number16
Early online date9 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

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