Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 217–224 | Cite as

Nitrogen enrichment causes minimal changes in arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization but shifts community composition—evidence from rDNA data

  • Ari JumpponenEmail author
  • Justin Trowbridge
  • Keerthi Mandyam
  • Loretta Johnson
Original Paper


Intracellular arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) colonization was compared between nitrogen (NH4NO3) fertilized (10 g N m−2) and nonfertilized tallgrass prairie plots. In the microscopic analyses of host roots, only intracellular coils showed an increasing trend as a result of N fertilization, whereas intracellular colonization by arbuscules, hyphae, or vesicles did not differ between the N treatments. Clone libraries established from pooled PCR products of AM fungi contained exclusively species of Glomus; no other genera were detected indicating that Glomus spp. dominated the host roots. Comparisons between observed and random topologies indicated that cloned sequence placement covaried with N treatment: unique clades within Glomus originated exclusively from N-fertilized or nonfertilized treatments. We conclude that the communities of dominant and most commonly occurring AM fungi changed in response to N amendment, although the root colonization showed minimal or no response.


Arbuscular mycorrhiza Nitrogen deposition Ribosomal DNA Tallgrass prairie 



This work was partially supported by Kansas State University BRIEF program and EPSCoR grant No. 9874732 with matching support from the State of Kansas and National Science Foundation (DEB-0344838) (to A.J.). Justin Trowbridge was supported by Konza Prairie LTER “Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program” (National Science Foundation DBI-0243890 to B.K. Sandercock, W.K. Dodds, K.B. Gido, and G.W. Wilson): Conservation of the tallgrass prairie. Konza Prairie Biological Station (KPBS) maintained the field sites and was supported by National Science Foundation Long Term Ecological Research Program (LTER). Louise Egerton-Warburton, Charles L. Kramer, Nicholas B. Simpson, and two anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments on early drafts of this manuscript


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ari Jumpponen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Justin Trowbridge
    • 1
  • Keerthi Mandyam
    • 1
  • Loretta Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of BiologyKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA

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