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Contrasting distribution of enzyme activities in the rhizosphere of European beech and Norway spruce

Song, B., Razavi, B. S. and Pena, R. (2022) Contrasting distribution of enzyme activities in the rhizosphere of European beech and Norway spruce. Frontiers in Plant Science, 13. 10.3389/fpls.2022.987112. ISSN 1664-462X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2022.987112


Recent policies and silvicultural management call for forest regeneration that involve the selection of tree species able to cope with low soil nutrient availability in forest ecosystems. Understanding the impact of different tree species on the rhizosphere processes (e.g., enzyme activities) involved in nutrient mobilisation is critical in selecting suitable species to adapt forests to environmental change. Here, we visualised and investigated the rhizosphere distribution of enzyme activities (cellobiohydrolase, leucine-aminopeptidase, and acid phosphomonoesterase) using zymography. We related the distribution of enzyme activities to the seedling root morphological traits of European beech (Fagus sylvatica) and Norway spruce (Picea abies), the two most cultivated temperate tree species that employ contrasting strategies in soil nutrient acquisition. We found that spruce showed a higher morphological heterogeneity along the roots than beech, resulting in a more robust relationship between rhizoplane-associated enzyme activities and the longitudinal distance from the root apex. The rhizoplane enzyme activities decreased in spruce and increased in beech with the distance from the root apex over a power-law equation. Spruce revealed broader rhizosphere extents of all three enzymes, but only acid phosphomonoesterase activity was higher compared with beech. This latter result was determined by a larger root system found in beech compared with spruce that enhanced cellobiohydrolase and leucine-aminopeptidase activities. The root hair zone and hair lengths were significant variables determining the distribution of enzyme activities in the rhizosphere. Our findings indicate that spruce has a more substantial influence on rhizosphere enzyme production and diffusion than beech, enabling spruce to better mobilise nutrients from organic sources in heterogeneous forest soils.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Sustainable Land Management > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:109085


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