The influence of arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization and environment on root development in soil

David Atkinson, K.E. Black, Paula J Forbes, John Hooker, John Baddeley, Christine Watson

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The production of fine roots is one of the principal means by which carbon, fixed during photosynthesis, enters the soil, and quantifying the production for particular combinations of environmental and biotic factors is important for predicting the sequestration of carbon in the soils of grassland ecosystems. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can have a major effect on the production of roots, and we studied how colonization by AMF affects the lifespan of roots. Twenty per cent of control roots of Trifolium repens survived for longer than 42 days whereas 37% survived that long in AMF‐colonized plants. The overall survival of the roots of Lolium perenne was less than in T. repens: around 10% of roots survived beyond 42 days and this was not affected by AMF colonization. Previous studies have shown that lifespans of roots can be affected by temperature. We tested the hypothesis that these observations are linked to …
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-757
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Soil Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes


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