Phosphorus uptake and toxicity are delimited by mycorrhizal symbiosis in P-sensitive Eucalyptus marginata but not in P-tolerant Acacia celastrifolia

Mark Tibbett, Matthew Daws, Megan H. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Many plant species from regions with ancient, highly weathered nutrient-depleted soils have specialized adaptations for acquiring phosphorus (P) and are sensitive to excess P supply. Mycorrhizal associations may regulate P uptake at high external P concentrations, potentially reducing P toxicity. We predicted that excess P application will negatively impact species from the nutrient-depleted Jarrah forest of Western Australia and that mycorrhizal inoculation will reduce P toxicity by regulating P uptake. For seedlings of the N-2-fixing legume Acacia celastrifolia and the tree species Eucalyptus marginata, we measured growth at P concentrations of 0-90 mg kg(-1) soil and in relation to inoculation with the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF) Rhizophagus irregularis. Non-inoculated A. celastrifolia maintained leaf P concentrations at 9 mg g(-1) DM at 30 mg P kg(-1) soil. Acacia celastrifolia DM increased with increasing external P concentrations, while E. marginata DM was maximal at 15 mg P kg(-1) soil, declining at higher external P concentrations. Neither DM nor leaf P of A. celastrifolia was affected by inoculation with AMF. For E. marginata, even at 90 mg P kg(-1) soil, inoculation with AMF resulted in leaf P remaining Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are typically thought to facilitate phosphorous (P) uptake when external P concentrations are low. However, for two species adapted to low-nutrient environments, we investigated whether AMF can also control and reduce P uptake at high external P concentrations. For one of the species, Eucalyptus marginata, we found evidence that AMF not only facilitate P uptake at low external P concentrations but are also important for moderating P uptake at elevated external P concentrations and maintaining plant P concentrations within a relatively narrow concentration range.
Original languageEnglish
Article number037
Number of pages9
JournalAOB Plants
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2022

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