- • Translocation is shown of phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium and magnesium to a P-deficient host from ectomycorrhizal fungal hyphae.
- • Mycorrhizal (with Paxillus involutus) and nonmycorrhizal P-deficient spruce (P. abies) seedlings were grown in a two-compartment sand-culture system. Hyphal translocation of nutrients from the inner compartment (penetrated only by hyphae) to the host was measured using mass balance (for N, P and K) or stable isotope (15N and 25Mg) methods.
- • Addition of P to the hyphal compartment strongly stimulated hyphal growth, and this also increased both seedling P status and growth. Hyphae translocated nonlimiting elements in addition to P, contributing 52, 17, 5 and 3–4%, respectively, to total P, N, K or Mg plant uptake. The potential role of the ectomycorrhizal mycelium in K acquisition was demonstrated. Translocation to mycorrhizal seedings of N, K and Mg was strongly reduced when hyphal P-fluxes ceased; this translocation of nonlimiting nutrients depended on simultaneous translocation of P.
- • The ectomycorrhizal mycelium has an active role in P acquisition from sources not available to roots. Nutrient fluxes within fungal hyphae are interdependent and strong coupling of N, K and Mg fluxes with long-distance P translocation in the mycorrhizal mycelium occurs.