Emmanuel Frossard

ETH Zurich, Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland

Are you Emmanuel Frossard?

Claim your profile

Publications (222)406.5 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Flood pulses are major drivers of river–floodplain processes. We investigated their effects on soil nitrogen (N) transformations along a lateral gradient from the river to a mature alluvial forest in the Thur River floodplain (NE Switzerland). Selected N pools (ammonium and nitrate) and N transformations (mineralization, nitrification and denitrification) in the topsoils were repeatedly quantified over a period of six months. During this period, the floodplain was affected by two flood events of different magnitude. Our results showed a distinct difference in size and temporal changes of N pools and transformation rates among functional process zones (FPZs) differing in flooding disturbance. A strong temporary increase in N mineralization in a FPZ with young soil on the frequently flooded gravel bars was the most prominent flood-related effect. This was most likely related to the fast-flowing water during inundation that deposited fresh dispersed sediments with a coarse sandy texture containing highly bioavailable organic N, and/or stimulated the turnover of existing N by destroying sediment aggregates already present before the flood. Increased N mineralization appeared to stimulate coupled nitrification–denitrification in this FPZ during the drying phase. In the more stable FPZs, N mineralization was not strongly enhanced by flooding, whereas nitrification and denitrification were also increased during the drying phase, however to a lesser degree than in the gravel bar soils. Based on our results we propose that floodplain zones characterized by short intensive floods with fast over-flowing water are “hot spots” and the drying phases after the floods are “hot moments” of N transformations.
    Geoderma 09/2014; s 228–229:14–24. · 2.35 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The abundance, distribution and functions of soil fungi in alpine ecosystems remain poorly understood. We aimed at linking the fungal community structure with soil enzymatic activities in the rhizospheres of several plants associating with mycorrhizal fungi (arbuscular, ecto- and ericoid) and growing along a soil developmental gradient on the forefield of an alpine glacier. Fungal communities in roots and in rhizosphere soils were assessed using a site-tailored set of quantitative PCR assays with fluorescent hydrolysis probes. Enzymatic activities of mycorrhizal roots and rhizosphere soils were assessed using fluorogenic substrates. In this study we addressed: i) whether and how the structure of fungal communities and enzymatic activities in rhizosphere soils change along the soil developmental gradient, ii) whether the type of mycorrhiza shows a clear relationship to the pattern of enzymatic activities in the rhizosphere, and iii) how the structure of fungal communities and enzymatic activities in rhizosphere soils is related to plant species abundances along the soil chronosequence. The results suggest that plant identity affected the structure of both ecto- and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities in rhizosphere soil and roots, whereas the community of non-mycorrhizal fungi was rather dictated by the soil developmental stage. Both plant identity and associated mycorrhizal fungi affected the enzymatic activity in the rhizosphere soil. Species-specific elevations of rhizosphere enzyme activities were detected for Salix helvetica (chitinase and α-glucosidase), Rhododendron ferrugineum (α-glucosidase and sulfatase), and Agrostis gigantea (phosphatase and xylosidase). These results indicate different functional roles played by different types of mycorrhizal symbiosis in a young alpine ecosystem.
    Soil Biology and Biochemistry 07/2014; · 4.41 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The growing human population and urbanization result in greater phosphorus (P) fluxes from agro-ecosystems to consumers and finally into waste water. Field application of sewage sludge is prohibited in Switzerland since 2006. Sewage sludge is currently mono-incinerated and deposited in landfills. Various technologies are available to recover the essential P resource from these waste streams, thus presenting options to recycle P to crop land. Technologies are available to precipitate struvite (MgNH 4 PO 4 . 6 H 2 O) either from human urine when collected separately or from the sewage water stream. Another option is to recycle P from sewage sludge incineration ashes by removing the undesired heavy metals. In either way the recycling of P back to crop land requires that the plant availability of P in the recycling product is known. We studied P uptake by plants from struvite precipitated from synthetic human urine (MAP-syn) and P recovered from sewage sludge ashes (SSA) by a thermo-chemical process (SSA-tc). We used radioisotope labeling to determine the P in Lolium multiflorum taken up from the fertilizer under controlled conditions in the greenhouse over several growing cycles. Plant P uptake from MAP-syn was determined on a sandy slightly acidic soil with low P availability. The SSA-tc was tested on three soils with a gradient in pH (acidic, neutral and alkaline) and low P availability. Relative fertilizer efficiency is expressed as P uptake from the fertilizer relative to water soluble mineral P. The results show that P contained in the MAP-syn is readily available to plants on a slightly acidic soil, with 93% relative efficiency. Phosphorus contained in SSA-tc was significantly less available than water soluble mineral P fertilizer. The relative efficiency was 50% in the slightly acidic soil and 20% in the alkaline soil.
    20th World Congress of Soil Science, Jeju, Korea; 06/2014
  • Andrea E Ulrich, Emmanuel Frossard
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite evidence against imminent global phosphate rock depletion, phosphorus (P) scarcity scenarios and the subsequent consequences for global food security continue to be a matter of controversy. We provide a historicizing account to evaluate the degree and relevance of past human experiences with P scarcity. Using more than 80 literature sources, we trace the origin of the P scarcity concept and the first accounts of concerns; we report on three cases of scarcity discourse in the U.S. and revisit the concept of future resources. In addition, we present past evaluations of phosphate rock reserves and lifetime estimates for the world, the U.S., Morocco, and the Western Sahara, as well as past attempts to model phosphorus supply or collect information on phosphate rock. Our results show that current concerns have a long legacy and knowledge base to draw from and that promulgating the notion of depletion is inconsistent with past findings. We find that past depletion concerns were refuted by means of new resource appraisals, indicating that the supply was substantially larger than previously thought. Moreover, recommendations for national P conservation policies and other practices seem to have found little implementation. We demonstrate the merit of historic literacy for social learning and the weakness of the current P sustainability debate because it does not include this past knowledge.
    Science of The Total Environment 06/2014; 490C:694-707. · 3.16 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Controlling phosphate (P) release from agricultural soils to water while maintaining optimal plant growth conditions remain a major challenge for the development of sustainable agricultural systems. To achieve this, it is important to have a proper knowledge of the amount of soil P that can be mobilized by water and of the kinetics of P release. We evaluated the ability of a flow-through reactor in which 33P labeled soils can be inserted and leached continuously with deionized water, to assess P release. The experiment was conducted on five grassland soils presenting a large range in P availability. The availability of P in these soils was further modified by submitting them to 0 to 3 plant growth cycles with Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) with three levels of P added (0, 20 and 40 mg P kg soil−1 ). The P input–output balance, water and oxalate extractable P, the degree of P saturation of the soil and the amount of isotopically exchangeable P (E value) were assessed in all samples. A subset of these soil samples was labeled with 33P, introduced in a flow-through reactor and the release of P and 33P measured over 14 days. The cumulated amount of P released after 14 days was strongly correlated to the amount of oxalate extractable P, isotopically exchangeable P (E value), and water extractable P. The P release kinetics was modeled with a 2 pools model with each pool following first order kinetics. Plants were able to take up P from both pools. Assuming that the leached P had the same isotopic composition as the pool of soil P it came from it became possible to quantify the amount of isotopically exchangeable remaining in the soil which was called the D value. D decreased during the three first days of the flow-through experiment and then increased linearly with time reaching a maximum after 14 days. This maximum remained lower than the oxalate extractable P. Processes contributing to this increase were isotopic exchange and possibly also some organic P mineralization. The D value was strongly linearly correlated to E values measured after different exchange times, but for a given exchange time, the D value was lower than the E value, whereas equality could have been expected. This difference was related to the high rate of 33P export from the soil at the beginning of the flow-through experiment. The D value was also strongly correlated to the oxalate and water extractable P. In conclusion, we suggest that the use of the flow-through reactor yields relevant information on the amount of P that can be leached from a given soil, and that the D value delivers information on the amount of isotopically exchangeable P remaining in the soil and therefore which could still be leached if sufficient time would be given.
    Geoderma 05/2014; s 219–220:125–135. · 2.35 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Phosphorus (P) is the second essential nutrient for plant growth but can become an ecological and economical concern in case of over-fertilization. Soil P dynamic is influenced by many parameters like soil physical–chemical properties and farming practices. A better understanding of the factors controlling its distribution is required to achieve best management of P in cropping systems. In Switzerland, the FRIBO network was launched in 1987 and consists of 250 sites covering a wide diversity of soils (Cambisols, Gleysols, Rendzinas, Lithosols, Luvisols, Fluvisols) and three different land uses (cropland, grassland and mountain pasture) across the Fribourg canton. A spatial investigation of the different P forms (total, organic and available) for the FRIBO network led to the fol-lowing main conclusions: (i) The P status in agricultural soils was significantly different among the three land uses encountered, with the highest mean values of available P found in croplands, from 2.12 (CO 2 saturated water extraction) to 81.3 mg.kg −1 (acetate ammonium + EDTA extraction); whereas total P was more abundant in perma-nent grasslands (1186 mg.kg −1), followed by mountain pastures (1039 mg.kg −1) and croplands (935 mg.kg −1). This full characterization of the soil P status provides important data on P distribution re-lated to soil properties and land use. (ii) Environmental variables such as altitude, slope, wetness index or plan curvature, derived from the digital elevation model (DEM) only explained a small part of the spatial variation of the different P forms (20 to 25%). Thus, the geostatistical analyses revealed that land use plays a significant role in soil P distribution. Improved predictions of the spatial distribution of P-related forms at landscape scales are needed and would require additional data points and variables such as parent material, soil types and terrain attributes.
    Geoderma 04/2014; 217-218:26-36. · 3.35 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Phosphorus resources have to be managed sustainably and therefore the recycling of P from waste streams is essential. A thermo-chemical recycling process has been developed to produce a P fertilizer from sewage sludge ash (SSA) but its plant availability is unknown.Two SSA products prepared with either CaCl2 (SSACa) or MgCl2 (SSAMg) as chemical reactant during the thermal treatment were mixed with three soils previously labeled with 33P. Reference treatments with water-soluble P added at equal amounts of total P were included. The transfer of P from SSACa and SSAMg to Lolium multiflorum or P pools of sequentially extracted soil-fertilizer incubations were quantified.The shoot P uptake from SSAMg was higher than from SSACa. For SSAMg the relative effectiveness compared to a water-soluble P fertilizer was 88 % on an acidic and 71 % on a neutral soil but only 4 % on an alkaline soil. The proportion of P derived from the fertilizer in the plant and in the first two extraction pools of soil-fertilizer incubations were strongly correlated, suggesting that it is sufficient to conduct an incubation study to obtain robust information on plant P availability.We conclude that under acidic to neutral conditions SSAMg presents an appropriate alternative to conventional P fertilizers and the dissolution of P from SSAMg seems to be governed by protons and cations in the soil solution.
    Plant and Soil 04/2014; 377. · 3.24 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Environmental Chemistry 02/2014; 11(1):41-50. · 2.65 Impact Factor
  • Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. 01/2014; 38:25-45.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Microbial activity is known to be high under permanent grassland, but consequences for soil phosphorus (P) dynamics and availability are not well understood. Our main objective was to assess the microbial P turnover derived from the seasonal fluctuations in microbial P (measured as hexanol-labile P (Phex) at 13 sampling times during 9 months) in a permanent grassland in Switzerland as affected by different P fertilization treatments (P inputs of 0 (NK) or 17 kg P ha−1 year−1 in the form of superphosphate (NPK) or dairy slurry (DS)). Plant P uptake, available inorganic P measured as resin-extractable P (Pres), potential organic P mineralization indicated by acid phosphomonoesterase activity and climatic conditions were also recorded. Despite significant differences in plant P uptake and Pres (NPK > DS > NK), the turnover rate of Phex was similar in all treatments (approximately once per growing season). Thus, the seasonal P flux through Phex was similar to the stock of Phex, which was about 18, 25 and 37 kg P ha−1 in NK, NPK and DS, respectively, and larger than the corresponding seasonal plant P uptake of 6, 17 and 12 kg P ha−1. The estimate of Phex turnover based on seasonal dynamics did not confirm previous tracer-based findings of a much faster Phex turnover under low availability of inorganic P, and the magnitude of Phex turnover depended on the number of sampling points taken into account. Fluctuations in Pres and Phex were related to soil moisture and indicated competition between plants and microorganisms for available P.
    Biology and Fertility of Soils 01/2014; · 3.40 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Soil chemistry and biota heavily influence crop plant growth and mineral nutrition. The stress-severity and optimal resource allocation hypotheses predict mutualistic symbiotic benefits to increase with the degree of metabolic imbalance and environmental stress. Using two cross-factorial pot experiments with the same biologically active calcareous soil, one time highly saline and nutrient-deficient, and the other time partially desalinated and amended with mineral soil fertilizer, we explored whether these general predictions hold true for zinc (Zn) nutrition of bread wheat in mycorrhizal symbiosis. Increased arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal root colonization positively correlated with plant Zn nutrition, but only when plants were impaired in growth due to salinity and nutrient-deficiency; this was particularly so in a cultivar-responsive to application of mineral Zn fertilizer. Evidence for direct involvement of AM fungi were positive correlations between Zn uptake from soil and frequency of fungal symbiotic nutrient exchange organelles, as well as the quantitative abundance of AM fungi of the genera Funneliformis and Rhizophagus, but not Claroideoglomus. Combined partial soil desalination and fertilization swapped the dominance ranking from Claroideoglomus spp. to Funneliformis spp. Positive growth, nitrogen, and Zn uptake responses to mycorrhization were contingent on moderate soil fertilization with ZnSO4. In agreement with the predictions of the stress-severity and optimal resource allocation hypotheses, plants limited in growth due to chemically adverse soil conditions invested relatively more into AM fungi, as evident from heavier root colonization, and took up relatively more Zn and nitrogen in response to mycorrhization, than better growing and less mycorrhized plants. It thus appears that crop plant cultivar-dependent mycorrhization and Zn fertilizer-responsiveness may reinforce each other, provided that there is bioavailable Zn in soil and plant growth is impaired by suboptimal chemical soil conditions.
    Applied Soil Ecology 01/2014; 84:93-111. · 2.11 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recognizing the socio-economic and biophysical causes of land degradation at the national level is important for cause-targeted strategies when designing policies for combating land degradation. This study aims to identify the biophysical and socio-economic factors that significantly affect land degradation across Vietnam and to interpret the causalities underlying the effects. The dependent variables considered in the study are spatial, the extent and intensity of degradation in three land-use zones (agriculture, forest and severely degraded abandonment). The hypothesized explanatory variables are common economic and demographic drivers and bio-physical factors such as soil, terrain constraints, and neighborhood land-use structures that are often neglected in many large-scale land degradation assessments. Instead of using a single inferential statistic technique, we used multi-linear regression and binary logistic regression in a complementary manner to increase the detectability and credibility of the degradation cause analyses. The results showed agricultural production growth had strong and consistent effects on land degradation extent and intensity. Population growth, especially in rural areas, had a strong effect on the extent of overall land degradation. The importance of a neighboring forest was revealed for its ability to reduce land degradation intensity in abandoned, unproductive lands. The concrete faceting of the causal analysis for each land-use zone as social–ecological stratum allowed us to combine the defined social–ecological contexts, contemporary theories, and hypotheses in the field to clarify the causal factors of a complex phenomenon like land degradation. The study demonstrates these contemporary inferential statistics can be complementarily used to sufficiently detect and understand land degradation causes at the national level. The results suggest implications for national land management policy: internalizing land degradation costs in the farming system evaluation for payment for ecosystem services policy, restricting forest conversion, and improving extension services and education in agrarian communities.
    Land Use Policy 01/2014; 36:605 - 617. · 3.13 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Maintaining the productivity of tropical pastures is a major challenge for the sustainable management of tropical landscapes around the globe. To address this issue, we examined linkages between soil organic matter (SOM), aggregation, and phosphorus (P) dynamics by comparing productive vs. degraded pastures in the deforested Amazon Basin of Colombia. Paired plots of productive (dominated by planted Brachiaria spp.) vs. degraded pasture were identified on nine farms in the Department of Caquetá and sampled during the rainy season of 2011. Aboveground pasture biomass production and nutrient content were measured. Surface soils (0–10 cm) were also fractionated by wet sieving, and C, 13C, N and P contents were analyzed for the bulk soil and various aggregate size classes. Productive pastures yielded more than double the aboveground biomass compared to degraded pastures (during a 35 day regrowth period following cutting), with over 60% higher N and P contents in this material. Similar trends were observed for the standing litter biomass and nutrient contents. Soil aggregate stability was found to differ between pasture types, with a mean weight diameter of 3590 vs. 3230 μm in productive vs. degraded pastures, respectively. Productive pastures were found to have 20% higher total soil C and N contents than degraded pastures. While there was no difference in total P content between pasture types, organic P was found to be nearly 40% higher in soils of productive vs. degraded pastures. Differences in total SOM between pasture types were largely explained by a higher C content in the large macroaggregate fraction (>2000 μm), and more specifically in the microaggregates (53–250 μm) occluded within this fraction. These findings confirm the role of microaggregates within macroaggregates as a preferential site for the physical stabilization of SOM, and furthermore, suggest that it may serve as a useful diagnostic fraction for evaluating management impacts on SOM in tropical pasture systems. Similar to trends observed for C and N, total P content was 25% higher in the microaggregates within large macroaggregates of productive vs. degraded pasture soils. This correspondence between C and total P contents in large macroaggregate fractions, along with elevated levels of organic P in productive pastures, suggests that this P is likely in an organic form and that there is a close link between soil structure, SOM dynamics and the maintenance of organic P in these soils. Given the potential relevance of organic P for efficient P cycling in these soils, our findings offer critical new insight for the management of SOM and aggregate-associated P pools in tropical pasture systems.
    Soil Biology and Biochemistry 01/2014; 68:150-157. · 4.41 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Plants and microorganisms under phosphorus (P) stress release extracellular phosphatases as a strategy to acquire inorganic phosphate (Pi). These enzymes catalyze the hydrolysis of phosphoesters leading to a release of Pi. During the enzymatic hydrolysis an isotopic fractionation (ε) occurs leaving an imprint on the oxygen isotope composition of the released Pi which might be used to trace phosphorus in the environment. Therefore, enzymatic assays with acid phosphatases from wheat germ and potato tuber and alkaline phosphatase from Escherichia coli were prepared in order to determine the oxygen isotope fractionation caused by these enzymes. Adenosine 5′ monophosphate and glycerol phosphate were used as substrates. The oxygen isotope fractionation caused by acid phosphatases is 20–30‰ smaller than for alkaline phosphatases, resulting in a difference of 5–7.5‰ in δ18O of Pi depending on the enzyme. We attribute the enzyme dependence of the isotopic fractionation to distinct reaction mechanisms of the two types of phosphatases. The observed difference is large enough to distinguish between the two enzymatic processes in environmental samples. These findings show that the oxygen isotope composition of Pi can be used to trace different enzymatic processes, offering an analytical tool that might contribute to a better understanding of the P-cycle in the environment.
    Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 01/2014; 125:519–527. · 3.88 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Zinc (Zn) deficiency is a major problem for many people living on wheat-based diets. Here, we explored whether addition of green manure of red clover and sunflower to a calcareous soil or inoculating a non-indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) strain may increase grain Zn concentration in bread wheat. For this purpose we performed a multifactorial pot experiment, in which the effects of two green manures (red clover, sunflower), ZnSO4 application, soil γ-irradiation (elimination of naturally occurring AMF), and AMF inoculation were tested. Both green manures were labeled with 65Zn radiotracer to record the Zn recoveries in the aboveground plant biomass. Application of ZnSO4 fertilizer increased grain Zn concentration from 20 to 39 mg Zn kg-1 and sole addition of green manure of sunflower to soil raised grain Zn concentration to 31 mg Zn kg-1. Adding the two together to soil increased grain Zn concentration even further to 54 mg Zn kg-1. Mixing green manure of sunflower to soil mobilized additional 48 µg Zn (kg soil)-1 for transfer to the aboveground plant biomass, compared to the total of 132 µg Zn (kg soil)-1 taken up from plain soil when neither green manure nor ZnSO4 were applied. Green manure amendments to soil also raised the DTPA-extractable Zn in soil. Inoculating a non-indigenous AMF did not increase plant Zn uptake. The study thus showed that organic matter amendments to soil can contribute to a better utilization of naturally stocked soil micronutrients, and thereby reduce any need for major external inputs.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(7):e101487. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study seeks to identify and specify the components that make up the prospects of U recovery from phosphate rock. A systems approach is taken. The assessment includes i) reviewing past recovery experience and lessons learned; ii) identifying factors that determine recovery; and iii) establishing a contemporary evaluation of U endowments in phosphate rock reserves, as well as the available and recoverable amounts from phosphate rock and phosphoric acid production. We find that in the past, recovery did not fulfill its potential and that the breakup of the Soviet Union worsened then-favorable recovery market conditions in the 1990s. We find that an estimated 5.7 million tU may be recoverable from phosphate rock reserves. In 2010, the recoverable tU from phosphate rock and phosphoric acid production may have been 15,000 tU and 11,000 tU, respectively. This could have filled the world U supply-demand gap for nuclear energy production. The results suggest that the U.S., Morocco, Tunisia, and Russia would be particularly well-suited to recover U, taking infrastructural considerations into account. We demonstrate future research needs, as well as sustainability orientations. We conclude that in order to promote investment and production, it seems necessary to establish long-term contracts at guaranteed prices, ensuring profitability for phosphoric acid producers.
    Science of The Total Environment 01/2014; 478:226–234. · 3.16 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Crop production in subsistence agriculture in tropical Africa is still sustained mainly by short-to medium-term fallows to recuperate natural fertility of the soils. Microbes play a pivotal role both in the process of soil fertility restoration and in nutrient acquisition by the crops. Here we ask the question how the duration of fallow affects the composition of indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) communities and their contribution to maize nutrition and growth, in acidic, low P soils of southern Cameroon. This question has been addressed in a bioassay where soils collected from continuously cropped fields, short-term fallows dominated by Chromolaena odorata and long-term fallows (secondary forests) have been sterilized and back- and cross inoculated with living soils from the different land-use systems. Particular microbes larger than the pore size of the filter paper (mainly the fungi including the AMF) contained in the cropped and short-fallowed soils caused greater growth and P uptake stimulations to the maize as compared to the forest soil. By using molecular profiling, we demonstrated a shift in the composition of AMF communities along a gradient of fallow duration, changing from dominance by Rhizophagus in the forest fallow soil, to dominance by Claroideoglomus under cropland. Our results contradict the hypothesis that deterioration of quality of root symbiotic communities would be responsible for a rapid yield decline following deforestation, and indicate a positive feedback of cropping on mycorrhizal functioning under conditions of shifting agriculture in tropical Africa.
    Soil Biology and Biochemistry 01/2014; 79:117–124. · 4.41 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Cécile Thonar, Emmanuel Frossard, Petr Smilauer, Jan Jansa
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) species co-colonizing the same host plant are still little understood in spite of major ecological significance of mycorrhizal symbiosis and widespread occurrence of these fungi in communities rather than alone. Furthermore, shifting the composition of AMF communities has demonstrated consequences for provision of symbiotic benefits to the host as well as for the qualities of ecosystem services. Therefore, here we addressed the nature and strength of interactions between three different AMF species in all possible two-species combinations on a gradient of inoculation densities. Fungal communities were established in pots with Medicago truncatula plants and their composition was assessed with taxon-specific real-time PCR markers. Nature of interactions between the fungi was varying from competition to facilitation and was influenced by both the identity and relative abundance of the co-inoculated fungi. Plants co-inoculated with Claroideoglomus and Rhizophagus grew bigger and contained more phosphorus than with any of these two fungi separately, although these fungi obviously competed for root colonization. On the other hand, plants co-inoculated with Gigaspora and Rhizophagus, which facilitated each other's root colonization, grew smaller than with any of these fungi separately. Our results point to as yet little understood complexity of interactions in plant-associated symbiotic fungal communities, which, depending on their composition, can induce significant changes in plant host growth and/or phosphorus acquisition in either direction. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Molecular Ecology 12/2013; · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION Clear definitions of deficient, sufficient and surplus phosphorus (P) availability are a prerequisite to precisely characterize soil P status for plant nutrition and environmental purposes. Often, reported thresholds and sufficiency ranges are different between studies. Differences in applied methods for estimation of soil available P and expectations of plant yield or P content are reasons for derivation of different values. In agricultural permanent grasslands such thresholds are not yet well defined. In this study we aimed to establish thresholds for soil available P using yield and plant P nutrition status response curves in a combined approach. CONCLUSIONS The combination of yield and plant P nutrition information seems to improve the reliability of threshold derivation for soil P availability classes. By using the highest plant indicator for each threshold level ensures that the other plant indicators reach their required level as well. The highest observed maximum of the fitted functions of each soil P indicator could serve as threshold for severe over fertilization. Among the three soil P indicators Pres had the strongest coefficients of determination with grass P concentration and PNI, thus it reflected sward P nutrition status better than Pox or E1min. For more details see the conference paper.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Organic ligands in soils affect the availability of trace metals such as Zn to plants. This study investigated the effects of two of these ligands, citrate and histidine, on Zn uptake by wheat under hydroponic conditions. Uptake of (65)Zn in the presence of these ligands was compared to uptake in the presence of EDTA at the same free Zn concentration (Zn(2+) ∼ 50 nM). In the presence of citrate Zn root uptake was enhanced ∼3.5 times and in the presence of histidine, by a factor of ∼9, compared to the EDTA treatments. Citrate uptake was slightly reduced in the treatment containing ligands and Zn compared to the treatment containing the same ligand concentration but no Zn. In addition, a higher uptake of Zn than of citrate was observed. This suggests that the enhanced Zn uptake was primarily due to increased supply of Zn(2+) by diffusion and dissociation of Zn-citrate complexes at the root surface. Histidine uptake was much higher than citrate uptake and not influenced by the presence of Zn. As histidine forms stronger complexes with Zn than citrate, the results suggest that the enhancement of Zn uptake in the presence of histidine was in part due to the uptake of undissociated Zn-histidine complexes.
    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 10/2013; · 3.11 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
406.50 Total Impact Points


  • 2000–2013
    • ETH Zurich
      • Institute of Agricultural Sciences
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2012
    • PC Professor of Boca Raton
      Boca Raton, Florida, United States
  • 2011
    • Universität Heidelberg
      Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2010
    • Kingston University London
      • School of Geography, Geology and the Environment (GGE)
      London, ENG, United Kingdom
    • Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB)
      Aas, Akershus county, Norway
  • 2009
    • Ghent University
      Gand, Flanders, Belgium
  • 2008
    • International Rice Research Institute
      Лос-Баньос, Calabarzon, Philippines
  • 2007
    • Paul Scherrer Institut
      • Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry (LAC)
      Aargau, Switzerland
  • 2003–2007
    • Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL
      Birmenstorf, Zurich, Switzerland
    • Andra
      Châtenay, Île-de-France, France
  • 2006
    • Boca Raton Regional Hospital
      Boca Raton, Florida, United States
  • 2002–2006
    • Eawag: Das Wasserforschungs-Institut des ETH-Bereichs
      Duebendorf, Zurich, Switzerland
    • Corpoica
  • 2004
    • International Water Management Institute
      Columbo, Western, Sri Lanka
  • 2001–2004
    • Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau
      Frick, Aargau, Switzerland
  • 1999
    • Université de Neuchâtel
      Neuenburg, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
  • 1988
    • University of Saskatchewan
      • Department of Soil Science
      Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada