Depth differential colonization and biodiversity of mycorrhizal fungi in four prairie grass species
van Tuinen, D.
The biodiversity of AMF at different soil depths was studied in pure stands of the grasses crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertn.), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), green needlegrass (Nassella viridula Trin.) and western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii (Rydb.) A. Löve), growing in southwest Saskatchewan. The biodiversity of AMF was described in roots from 3 to 15, and 30 to 45 cm depth sampled in 2006 using phylogenetic and molecular tools. Soil depth reduced root colonization and influenced AMF community composition, which was dominated by six AMF phylotypes of the genus Glomus. Three AMF phylotypes were common colonizers and three were preferentially associated with some grasses. AMF communities at different depths differed from each other in all plant stands, and diversity and richness of AMF phylotypes was higher at shallow depth, except in N. viridula which showed higher richness of AMF in deeper root samples. We conclude that although some AMF are general colonizers, some AMF have a strong host preference. Our results also indicate that soil depth is a important driver of AMF phylotype distribution, and suggest the existence of niche specialization in AMF along the soil profile, which is influenced by the host plant.
arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
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