Document Detail

Soil calcium and plant disease in serpentine ecosystems: a test of the pathogen refuge hypothesis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17024377     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Ecologists have long sought mechanistic explanations for the patterns of plant distribution and endemism associated with serpentine soils. We conducted the first empirical test of the serpentine pathogen refuge hypothesis, which posits that the low levels of calcium found in serpentine soils provide associated plants with a refuge from attack by pathogens. We measured the range of soil calcium concentrations experienced by 16 wild population of California dwarf flax (Hesperolinon californicum) and experimentally recreated part of this range in the greenhouse by soaking serpentine soils in calcium chloride solutions of varying molarity. When flax plants grown in these soils were inoculated with spores of the rust fungus Melampsora lini we found a significant negative relationship between infection rates and soil calcium concentrations. This result refutes the pathogen refuge hypothesis and suggests that serpentine plants, by virtue of their association with low calcium soils, may be highly vulnerable to attack by pathogens. This interaction between plant nutrition and disease may in part explain demographic patterns associated with serpentine plant populations and suggests scenarios for the evolution of life history traits and the distribution of genetic resistance to infection in serpentine plant communities.
Yuri P Springer; Bree A Hardcastle; Gregory S Gilbert
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2006-09-22
Journal Detail:
Title:  Oecologia     Volume:  151     ISSN:  0029-8549     ISO Abbreviation:  Oecologia     Publication Date:  2007 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-01-08     Completed Date:  2007-03-15     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0150372     Medline TA:  Oecologia     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  10-21     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California-Santa Cruz, A316 Earth and Marine Sciences Building, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Analysis of Variance
Basidiomycota / pathogenicity*
Calcium Chloride / analysis*
Immunity, Innate / physiology*
Linaceae / microbiology*,  physiology
Plant Diseases / microbiology*
Soil / analysis*
Spectrum Analysis
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Soil; 10043-52-4/Calcium Chloride

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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