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Decomposer biomass in the rhizosphere to assess rhizodposition

Christensen, Soren; Bjornlund, Lisa and Vestergård, Mette (2007) Decomposer biomass in the rhizosphere to assess rhizodposition. Oikos, 116, pp. 65-74.

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Summary

Quantification of the organic carbon released from plant roots is a challenge. These compounds of rhizodeposition are quickly transformed into CO2 and eventually bacterial biomass to be consumed by bacterivores (protozoa and nematodes). Microbes stimulate rhizodeposition several-fold so assays under sterile conditions give an unrealistic value. Quantifying bacterial production from H-3-thymidine incorporation falls short in the rhizosphere and the use of isotopes does not allow clear distinction between labeled CO2 released from roots or microbes. We reduced rhizodeposition in 3-5 week old barley with a 2 week leaf aphid attack and found that biomass of bacterivores but not bacteria in the rhizosphere correlated with plant-induced respiration activity belowground. This indicated top-down control of the bacteria. Moreover, at increasing density of aphids, bacterivore biomass in the rhizosphere decreased to the level in soil unaffected by roots. This suggests that difference in bacterivore biomass directly reflects variations in rhizodeposition. Rhizodeposition is estimated from plant-induced increases in bacterial and bacterivore biomass, and yield factors, maintenance requirements, and turnover rates from the literature. We use literature values that maximize requirements for organic carbon and still estimate the total organic rhizodeposition to be as little as 4-6% of the plant-induced respiration belowground.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Soil
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF III (2005-2010) > CROPSYS - The effect of cropping systems on production and the environment
Deposited By: Christensen, professor Soren
ID Code:16084
Deposited On:11 Sep 2009 11:00
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:39
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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