Pedosphere 29(1): 34--44, 2019
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2019 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Root Exudation of Organic Acids of Herbaceous Pioneer Plants and Their Growth in Sterile and Non-Sterile Nutrient-Poor, Sandy Soils from Post-Mining Sites
Katja BOLDT-BURISCH1,2, Bernd Uwe SCHNEIDER2, M. Anne NAETH3, Reinhard F. HÜTTL1,2
1Chair of Soil Protection and Recultivation, Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus 03046(Germany);
2Helmholtz Centre Potsdam-German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, Potsdam 14473(Germany);
3Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H1(Canada)
Corresponding Author:Katja BOLDT-BURISCH
      Nutrient-poor, sandy soils form the prevailing substrate at post-mining sites of the Lusatian region (Brandenburg, Germany) and present a challenge for vegetation development. We studied the organic acid quantity and composition of three commonly occurring pioneer plant species, the legumes Lotus corniculatus L. and Trifolium arvense L. and the grass Calamagrostis epigeios (L.) Roth, to determine if plant growth and exudation differed with (non-sterilized soil) and without (sterilized soil) an indigenous soil microbial community. We investigated whether organic acids were found in the rhizosphere and surrounding soil and whether this influenced nutrient mobilization. This study consists of linked field investigations and a greenhouse experiment. Plants were grown in the greenhouse in either sterilized or non-sterilized sandy soil from a reclamation site in the Lusatian mining landscape (Welzow Süd, East Germany). After seven months, the plant biomass, root morphology, organic acids, and water-soluble nutrients and root colonization with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and dark septate endophytes (DSE) were analyzed. Roots of all three plants in the field and greenhouse experiments were highly colonized with AMF. Calamagrostis epigeios and T. arvense had a significantly higher colonization frequency with DSE than L. corniculatus. The quantity and composition of organic acids strongly differed among plant species, with the highest number of organic acids found for L. corniculatus and lowest for C. epigeios. The quantity of organic acids was greatly reduced in all plants under sterilized soil conditions. However, the composition of organic acids and plant growth in sterilized soil were reduced for both legumes, but not for C. epigeios, which had a higher biomass under sterilized conditions. Changes in nutrient concentrations in the field rhizosphere soil relative to those in the control were measurable after seven months. While the spectrum of organic acids and the growth of legumes seemed to be dependent on a highly diverse soil microbial community and a symbiotic partner, the grass C. epigeios appeared capable of mobilizing enough nutrients without an indigenous microbial community, and might be more competitive on sites where soil microbial diversity and activity are low.
Key Words:  Calamagrostis epigeios,indigenous soil microbial community,Lotus corniculatus,microbial colonization,mining landscape,nutrient mobilization,root symbiotic partner,Trifolium arvense
Citation: Boldt-Burisch K, Schneider B U, Naeth M A, Hüttl R F. 2019. Root exudation of organic acids of herbaceous pioneer plants and their growth in sterile and non-sterile nutrient-poor, sandy soils from post-mining sites. Pedosphere. 29(1):34-44.
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