Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/2/2004
Publication Date: 11/2/2004
Citation: Franzluebbers, A.J., Jenkins, M., Zuberer, D.A., Hill, N.S. 2003. Soil responses to tall fescue endophyte infection. American Society of Agronomy Abstracts. 503-franzluebbers-11742-poster.
Technical Abstract: Endophyte infection of tall fescue has been shown to enhance soil organic C accumulation. However, the mechanisms for how this might occur have yet to be determined. We conducted controlled shortterm incubations of tall fescue with and without endophyte infection to detect changes in decomposition of leaf tissue, fate of alkaloids during decomposition, waterstable aggregation, and soil microbial biomass C and activity. Potential C mineralization was suppressed with endophyte infection in a sand, but not in a clay soil. Addition of endophyteinfected leaf tissue during a 32d incubation tended to limit soil microbial biomass and activity compared with addition of endophytefree leaf tissue. Aboveground growth of tall fescue tended to be greater with than without the endophyte, suggesting that plant vigor may play a significant role in soil organic matter changes. Both enhanced plant productivity and reduced microbial activity in the presence of the endophyte may act together to cause longterm changes in soil organic C accumulation.