, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 225-234

Diversity and structure of AMF communities as affected by tillage in a temperate soil

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Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) were studied in differently tilled soils from a long-term field experiment in Switzerland. Diversity and structure of AMF communities were surveyed either directly on spores isolated from the field soil or on spores isolated from trap cultures, planted with different host plants. Single-spore cultures were established from the AMF spores obtained from trap cultures. Identification of the AMF was made by observation of spore morphology and confirmed by sequencing of ITS rDNA. At least 17 recognised AMF species were identified in samples from field and/or trap cultures, belonging to five genera of AMF – Glomus, Gigaspora, Scutellospora, Acaulospora, and Entrophospora. Tillage had a significant influence on the sporulation of some species and non-Glomus AMF tended to be more abundant in the no-tilled soil. The community structure of AMF in the field soil was significantly affected by tillage treatment. However, no significant differences in AMF diversity were detected among different soil tillage treatments. AMF community composition in trap cultures was affected much more by the species of the trap plant than by the original tillage treatment of the field soil. The use of trap cultures for fungal diversity estimation in comparison with direct observation of field samples is discussed. Electronic supplementary material to this paper can be obtained by using the Springer Link server located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00572-002-0163-z.

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