Microbial P mobilization and immobilization in the rhizosphere and root-free soil

Thomas Zilla, Yakov Kuzyakov

DFG - SPP: P Nutrition & recycling, KU 1184/26-1

Soil microorganisms can mobilize and immobilize phosphorus (P), and therefore strongly affect the availability of P to plants. In this project we hypothesize that the ratio of labile P to microbial P increases during the transition from acquiring to recycling ecosystems. Microbial and plant P uptake will be studied with 33P that will be quantified in microbial and plant biomass as well as in lipids. To what extent microorganisms immobilize and mobilize P during decomposition of soil organic matter will be explored with a 14C/33P labeled monoester. Seasonal dynamics of actual and potential P mineralization (33P dilution and phosphatase activity), and microbial P immobilization will be studied with soils of the transition from acquiring to recycling ecosystems. The contribution of litter-derived P will be explored in a litter exclusion experiment in the field. Spatial patterns of microbial and plant P mineralization in the rhizosphere will be explored by analyses of areas of high acid and alkaline (=microbial-derived) phosphatase activity by soil zymography, and their relations with areas of high rhizodeposition (14C imaging). In conclusion, we will analyse mechanisms of actual and potential microbial P mineralization and immobilization, localization, and consequences for P uptake by plants.