M.J.M. van Meeteren
E. Kovacs Lang
P. de Angelis
G. de Dato
- Root-surface phosphatase activity in shrublands across a European gradient: Effects of warming
- Journal of Environmental Biology
- Volume | Issue number
- 29 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Root-surface phosphatase activities were measured in natural and semi-natural shrublands across an European climatic gradient of temperature and rainfall including Wales (WL), Denmark (DK), Netherlands (NL), Hungary (HU), Italy (IT) and Spain (SP). In each site a warming experiment was conducted since 1999 or 2001 by means of passive night-time warming using reflective curtains that covered the vegetation at night. The treatments increased yearly average soil temperatures around 0.8 degrees C in most of sites. Root-surface phosphatase activity values ranged between 56 mg PNP g(-1) h(-1) in IT and 3,5 mg PNP g(-1) h(-1) in HU. Warming had no effect on root-surface phosphatase activity across the sites and only in Hungary a slight increase was detected. Plants at Mediterranean sites (IT, SP) showed a higher root-surface phosphatase activity than plants at temperate sites (WL, NL, DK). We suggest it might be an adaptation of plant species evolved under Mediterranean climate that allows them a) to compensate in wet period for the decrease in phosphatase activity, and thus P uptake, during drought periods, and/or b) to benefit from soluble organic P flushes following the frequent drying-rewetting episodes experienced by soils in Mediterranean ecosystems.
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