Root exudates and rhizosphere microbiomes jointly determine temporal shifts in plant‐soil feedbacks

Katja Steinauer, Madhav P. Thakur, S. Emilia Hannula, Alexander Weinhold, Henriette Uthe, Nicole M. van Dam, T. Martijn Bezemer

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Plants influence numerous soil biotic factors that can alter the performance of later growing plants—defined as plant-soil feedback (PSF). Here, we investigate whether PSF effects are linked with the temporal changes in root exudate diversity and the rhizosphere microbiome of two common grassland species (Holcus lanatus and Jacobaea vulgaris). Both plant species were grown separately establishing conspecific and heterospecific soils. In the feedback phase, we determined plant biomass, measured root exudate composition, and characterised rhizosphere microbial communities weekly (eight time points). Over time, we found a strong negative conspecific PSF on J. vulgaris in its early growth phase which changed into a neutral PSF, whereas H. lanatus exhibited a more persistent negative PSF. Root exudate diversity increased considerably over time for both plant species. Rhizosphere microbial communities were distinct in conspecific and heterospecific soils and showed strong temporal patterns. Bacterial communities converged over time. Using path models, PSF effects could be linked to the temporal dynamics of root exudate diversity, whereby shifts in rhizosphere microbial diversity contributed to temporal variation in PSF to a lesser extent. Our results highlight the importance of root exudates and rhizosphere microbial communities in driving temporal changes in the strength of PSF effects.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Feb 2023


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