The interplay between soil nutrients, mycorrhizal fungi and the common juniper

  • Rik Veldhuis (Speaker)
  • Kris Verheyen (Contributor)
  • Fons Smolders (Contributor)
  • James Skinkis (Contributor)
  • Smit, C. (Contributor)

Activity: Talk and presentationAcademic presentationAcademic


Nitrogen deposition is affecting soil ecology worldwide by causing nutrient leaching and acidification. These biochemical changes can affect the soil microbial community, including mycorrhizal fungi, and subsequently the performance of plants. One of the plants that seems to suffer from high nitrogen deposition loads is the common juniper (Juniperus communis), which populations are declining due to a lack of rejuvenation. Using multiple field experiments we investigated the interactions between soil acidification, mycorrhizal fungi and junipers. We showed that by altering soil nutrient concentrations, N deposition 1) reduces positive effects of mycorrhiza on junipers, 2) reduces mycorrhizal fungi diversity in junipers’ rhizosphere, 3) deteriorate nutrient balance of leaves which are associated with plant growth and seed production. Restoration measures such as addition of lime + rock powder can restore soil pH and nutrient concentrations and thereby improve nutrient balance of juniper leaves and juniper rejuvenation as well. Besides these measures, it is crucial to reduce ongoing nitrogen pollution and safeguard juniper populations in north-western Europe.
Event titleNetherlands Annual Ecology Meeting 2022
Event typeConference
Conference number15
Organiser Netherlands Ecological Research Network (NERN)
LocationLunteren, NetherlandsShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational