Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Some trees 'farm' bacteria to help supply nutrients

Date:
July 30, 2010
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
Some trees growing in nutrient-poor forest soil may get what they need by cultivating specific root microbes to create compounds they require. These microbes are exceptionally efficient at turning inorganic minerals into nutrients that the trees can use.

New research finds that some trees, such as oak (above) and beech, that grow in nutrient-poor forest soil may get what they need by cultivating specific root microbes to create compounds they require
Credit: iStockphoto

Some trees growing in nutrient-poor forest soil may get what they need by cultivating specific root microbes to create compounds they require. These microbes are exceptionally efficient at turning inorganic minerals into nutrients that the trees can use.

Researchers from France report their findings in the July 2010 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

"In acidic forest soils, availability of inorganic nutrients is a tree-growth-limiting factor. A hypothesis to explain sustainable forest development proposes that tree roots select soil microbes involved in central biogeochemical processes, such as mineral weathering, that may contribute to nutrient mobilization and tree nutrition," says Stιphane Uroz, an author on the study.

Certain microbes are efficient at breaking down inorganic minerals into nutrients. This process, called mineral weathering, is especially important in acidic forest soils where tree growth can be limited by access to these nutrients. Mineral-weathering bacteria can release necessary nutrients such as iron from soil minerals. This gives trees with increased concentrations of mineral-weathering microbes an advantage over other trees.

Distinct impacts of the tree species on the soil bacterial community structure have been previously reported, suggesting that the composition and activity of soil bacterial communities depend on tree physiology and notably on its impact on the soil physicochemical properties and nutrient cycling. However, no study has ever addressed the question of the impact of tree species on the structure of forest soil bacterial communities involved in mineral weathering.

"This question regarding the impact of tree species on the functional diversity of the bacterial communities remains a major issue in forestry, especially in the context of today's climate change, which will give rise to a shift in the spatial distribution of forest tree species," says Uroz.

The researchers took soil samples from the root areas of beech, oak and Norway spruce trees and cultured them to determine the bacterial populations. They observed heightened levels of mineral-weathering bacteria in the samples near the roots of oak and beech trees compared to surrounding soil samples. This difference was not seen in the Norway spruce samples.

"Our results suggest that certain tree species have developed indirect strategies for mineral weathering in nutrient-poor soils, which lie in the selection of bacterial communities with efficient mineral weathering potentials," says Uroz.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. Calvaruso, M.-P. Turpault, E. Leclerc, J. Ranger, J. Garbaye, S. Uroz, P. Frey-Klett. Influence of Forest Trees on the Distribution of Mineral Weathering-Associated Bacterial Communities of the Scleroderma citrinum Mycorrhizosphere. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2010; 76 (14): 4780 DOI: 10.1128/AEM.03040-09

Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "Some trees 'farm' bacteria to help supply nutrients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100729172332.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2010, July 30). Some trees 'farm' bacteria to help supply nutrients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100729172332.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "Some trees 'farm' bacteria to help supply nutrients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100729172332.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) — A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) — Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Kangaroo Rescued from Swimming Pool

Raw: Kangaroo Rescued from Swimming Pool

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) — A kangaroo was saved from drowning in a backyard suburban swimming pool in Australia's Victoria state on Thursday. Australian broadcaster Channel 7 showed footage of the kangaroo struggling to get out of the pool. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Marijuana Use Lead To Serious Heart Problems?

Could Marijuana Use Lead To Serious Heart Problems?

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) — A new study says marijuana use could lead to serious heart-related complications. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins