Present address: Environmental and Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5694, USA.
Tracking carbon from the atmosphere to the rhizosphere
Article first published online: 12 OCT 2005
Volume 8, Issue 12, pages 1264–1270, December 2005
How to Cite
Olsson, P. A. and Johnson, N. C. (2005), Tracking carbon from the atmosphere to the rhizosphere. Ecology Letters, 8: 1264–1270. doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2005.00831.x
- Issue published online: 12 OCT 2005
- Article first published online: 12 OCT 2005
- Editor, John Klironomos Manuscript received 14 June 2005 First decision made 17 July 2005 Manuscript accepted 16 August 2005
- Arbuscular mycorrhiza;
- carbon cycling;
- Glomus intraradices;
- Plantago lanceolata;
- signature fatty acids;
- stable isotope
Turnover rates of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi may influence storage of soil organic carbon (SOC). We examined the longevity of AM hyphae in monoxenic cultures; and we also used 13C incorporation into signature fatty acids to study C dynamics in a mycorrhizal symbiosis involving Glomus intraradices and Plantago lanceolata. 13C enrichment of signature fatty acids showed rapid transfer of plant assimilates to AM fungi and a gradual release of C from roots to rhizosphere bacteria, but at a much slower rate. Furthermore, most C assimilated by AM fungi remained 32 days after labelling. These findings indicate that 13C labelled fatty acids can be used to track C flux from the atmosphere to the rhizosphere and that retention of C in AM fungal mycelium may contribute significantly to SOC.