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Common mycorrhizal networks benefit to the asymmetric interspecific facilitation via K exchange in an agricultural intercropping system
Biology and Fertility of Soils  (IF6.432),  Pub Date : 2021-07-13, DOI: 10.1007/s00374-021-01561-5
Danmei Gao, Xinjie Pan, Muhammad Khashi u Rahman, Xingang Zhou, Fengzhi Wu

Plant interspecific interactions can be influenced by common mycorrhizal networks (CMNs), which mediate nutrient trade (rarely focused on K and such fungal benefits), but the involved mechanisms remain unclear. To test whether and how CMNs mediate nutrient trade to benefit individuals during interspecific interactions, the growth advantage and K distribution in tomato/potato-onion system were studied using root exclusion compartments and 41K labeling in multi-compartment systems. Intercropping increased plant dry weight, percentage root length colonized by hyphae and arbuscules and K content of tomato, but decreased those of potato-onion. Damaging the CMNs decreased the effects of such positive interspecific interactions on growth and nutrition of tomato and re-established CMNs connection could partially recover the positive effects. A strong asymmetric transfer of K between plants occurred as potato-onion transferred more labeled 41K to tomato than that transferred from tomato to potato-onion.