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Do root exudates affect nitrogen cycling through interactions with soil microbes and root herbivores?

Puijenbroek, M.E.B. van (2009) Do root exudates affect nitrogen cycling through interactions with soil microbes and root herbivores? Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Abstract

Plants release carbon-rich root exudates into the rhizosphere, which could have an effect on the composition and abundance of the microbial community. This process, in turn, could positively influence the growth of microbial grazers and, with that, the rate of nitrogen (N) cycling. In the first part of this review, I will discuss how root exudates affect the interactions between plants, microbes, microbial grazers and N-cycling. In general, there is a positive effect of root exudates on microbial biomass. The greater biomass of microbes is able to support higher populations of microbial grazers, which increases the rate of N-mineralisation. However, this process mainly happens on soils with enough nutrients to use the C exudates to support further growth. The second part of this review is about the effect of root herbivores on root exudation. The evidence suggests that root exudation is increased by the activities of root herbivores. Whether root herbivores also directly lead to an increase in microbial biomass is not clear as there are more factos that have influence on the size of the microbial biomass. The effect of root exudation on N-cycling should be further investigated in the future.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:29
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:29
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/8711

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