Species composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in two mountain meadows with differing management types and levels of plant biodiversity
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Species composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) was analysed in two differently managed mountain grasslands in Thuringia (Germany). Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were studied in the roots of 18 dominant plant species from a total of 56 (32%). Additionally, spores of AMF were isolated from soil samples. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi species composition was analysed based on 96 sequences of the internal transcribed spacer of the nuclear ribosomal DNA, 72 originated from mycorrhizal roots, and 24 originated from AMF spores. Phylogenetic analyses revealed a total of 19 AMF species representing all genera of the Glomeromycota except Scutellospora and Pacispora. Despite a different farming intensity, resulting in remarkable differences concerning their plant species diversity (27 against 43 plant species), the diversity of AMF was found to be similar with 11 species on the intensively farmed meadow and ten species on the extensively farmed one. Nevertheless, species composition between both sites was clearly different. It thus seems likely that the AMF species composition, but not necessarily the species number, is related to above ground plant biodiversity in the system under study.
KeywordsArbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Farming intensity Internal transcribed spacer Plant species diversity Species composition
The study is part of BIOLOG-Europe, a biodiversity scientific programme funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), grant no. 01LC0013.
We wish to thank Thomas Scholten for providing soil data and Herbert Boyle who improved the English of the manuscript.
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