Efflux of hydraulically lifted water from mycorrhizal fungal hyphae during imposed drought

Louise M. Egerton-Warburton, José Ignacio Querejeta, Michael F. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Apart from improving plant and soil water status during drought, it has been suggested that hydraulic lift (HL) could enhance plant nutrient capture through the flow of mineral nutrients directly from the soil to plant roots, or by maintaining the functioning of mycorrhizal fungi. We evaluated the extent to which the diel cycle of water availability created by HL covaries with the efflux of HL water from the tips of extramatrical (external) mycorrhizal hyphae, and the possible effects on biogeochemical processes. Phenotypic mycorrhizal fungal variables, such as total and live hyphal lengths, were positively correlated with HL efflux from hyphae, soil water potential (dawn), and plant response variables (foliar 15N). The efflux of HL water from hyphae was also correlated with bacterial abundance and soil enzyme activity (P), and the moistening of soil organic matter. Such findings indicate that the efflux of HL water from the external mycorrhizal mycelia may be a complementary explanation for plant nutrient acquisition and survival during drought.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-71
Number of pages4
JournalPlant Signaling and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Hydraulic lift
  • Microbial abundance
  • Mycorrhizal hyphae
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Quercus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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