Article

Plant and Soil

, Volume 251, Issue 2, pp 227-236

Spatial variability of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal spores in two natural plant communities

  • Luís M. CarvalhoAffiliated withCentro de Ecologia e Biologia Vegetal, Departamento de Biologia Vegetal, Faculdade de Ciências de Lisboa
  • , Patrícia M. CorreiaAffiliated withCentro de Ecologia e Biologia Vegetal, Departamento de Biologia Vegetal, Faculdade de Ciências de Lisboa
  • , Ronald J. RyelAffiliated withDepartment of Forest, Range and Wildlife Sciences and the Ecology Center, Utah State University
  • , M. Amélia Martins-LouçãoAffiliated withCentro de Ecologia e Biologia Vegetal, Departamento de Biologia Vegetal, Faculdade de Ciências de Lisboa

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Geostatistical techniques were used to assess the spatial patterns of spores of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in soils from two contrasting plant communities: a salt marsh containing only arbuscular mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal plants in a distinct clumped distribution pattern and a maquis with different types of mycorrhiza where most plants were relatively randomly distributed. Also evaluated was the relationship between the spatial distribution of spores and AM plant distribution and soil properties. A nested sampling scheme was applied in both sites with sample cores taken from nested grids. Spores of AMF and soil characteristics (organic matter and moisture) were quantified in each core, and core sample location was related to plant location. Semivariograms for spore density indicated strong spatial autocorrelation and a patchy distribution within both sites for all AM fungal genera found. However, the patch size differed between the two plant communities and AM fungal genera. In the salt marsh, AM fungal spore distribution was correlated with distance to AM plants and projected stand area of AM plants. In maquis, spatial AM fungal spore distribution was correlated with organic matter. These results suggest that spore distribution of AMF varied between the two plant communities according to plant distribution and soil properties.

arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal spores geostatistics plant community structure soil properties spatial distribution