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.

Related Articles


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 October 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 October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) — Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) — One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) — Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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