Soil aggregation and carbon sequestration are tightly correlated with the abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: results from long-term field experiments

TitleSoil aggregation and carbon sequestration are tightly correlated with the abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: results from long-term field experiments
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsWilson, GWT, Rice, CW, Rillig, MC, Springer, A, Hartnett, DC
JournalEcology Letters
Volume12
Pagination452 -461
Accession NumberKNZ001248
Abstract

We examined the role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in ecosystems using soil aggregate stability and C and N storage as representative ecosystem processes. We utilized a wide gradient in AMF abundance, obtained through long-term (17 and 6 years) large-scale field manipulations. Burning and N-fertilization increased soil AMF hyphae, glomalin-related soil protein (GRSP) pools and water-stable macroaggregates while fungicide applications reduced AMF hyphae, GRSP and water-stable macroaggregates. We found that AMF abundance was a surprisingly dominant factor explaining the vast majority of variability in soil aggregation. This experimental field study, involving long-term diverse management practices of native multispecies prairie communities, invariably showed a close positive correlation between AMF hyphal abundance and soil aggregation, and C and N sequestration. This highly significant linear correlation suggests there are serious consequences to the loss of AMF from ecosystems.

URLhttps://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01303.x
DOI10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01303.x