, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 175-183

Arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization of halophytes in Central European salt marshes

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Halophytes from both coastal and inland Central European salt marshes were examined for colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Plants from different families were strongly colonized but the degree of colonization varied with the individual plant and apparently during the vegetation period, too. Members of the typical non-mycorrhizal families like Armeria maritima of the Plumbaginaceae and Salicornia europaea of the Chenopodiaceae were found to be colonized, particularly in the drier salt marshes. High numbers of Glomus spores were found in the saline soils, especially those of the inland locations examined. Approximately 80% of these spores were from Glomus geosporum as shown by a typical restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) pattern of the amplified internal transcribed spacer regions. The present study demonstrates that RFLP analysis is useful when screening habitats for the occurrence of mycorrhizal fungi which can be identified only with difficulty by morphological criteria.

Accepted: 25 August 2000