, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 289–301 | Cite as

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associated with vegetation and soil parameters under rest grazing management in a desert steppe ecosystem

  • Gegenbaoleer Bai
  • Yuying BaoEmail author
  • Guoxin Du
  • Yunlong Qi
Original Paper


The impact of rest grazing on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and the interactions of AMF with vegetation and soil parameters under rest grazing condition were investigated between spring and late summer in a desert steppe ecosystem with different grazing managements (rest grazing with different lengths of resting period, banned or continuous grazing) in Inner Mongolia, China. AMF diversity and colonization, vegetation biomass, soil properties and soil phosphatase activity were examined. In rest grazing areas of 60 days, AMF spore number and diversity index at a 0–10 cm soil depth as well as vesicular and hyphal colonization rates were higher compared with other grazing treatments. In addition, soil organic matter and total N contents were highest and soil alkaline phosphatase was most active under 60-day rest grazing. In August and September, these areas also had the highest amount of aboveground vegetation. The results indicated that resting grazing for an appropriate period of time in spring has a positive effect on AMF sporulation, colonization and diversity, and that under rest grazing conditions, AMF parameters are positively correlated with some soil characteristics.


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Desert steppe Grazing Soil properties 



We thank Prof. ZhiJun Wei from the Inner Mongolia Agricultural University for providing the study sites and to Jie Wei for the review of the manuscript and valuable comments. We also thank Gegentana and Gegensubud for helpful comments and language revisions (English). This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30760157) and the Natural Science Foundation of Inner Mongolia, China (No. 200711020503).


  1. An ZQ, Hendrix JW, Hershman DE, Henson GT (1990) Evaluation of the "most probable number" (MPN) and wet-sieving methods for determining soil-borne populations of endogonaceous mycorrhizal fungi. Mycologia 82:516–581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aon MA, Colaneri AC (2001) Temporal and spatial evolution of enzymatic activities and physico-chemical properties in an agricultural soil. Appl Soil Ecol 18:255–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ba L, Ning JX, Wang DL, Facelli E, Facelli JM, Yang YN, Zhang LC (2012) The relationship between the diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and grazing in a meadow steppe. Plant Soil 352:143–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bao YY, Sun F, Yan W (2005) Preliminary study on arbuscular mycorrhizaes and their morphological types of common plants in Inner Mongolia desert region. J Arid Land Resour Environ 19:180–184Google Scholar
  5. Barto EK, Alt F, Oelmann Y, Wilcke W, Rillig MC (2010) Contributions of biotic and abiotic factors to soil aggregation across a land use gradient. Soil Biol Biochem 42:2316–2324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carpenter FL, Mayorga SP, Quintero EG, Schroeder M (2001) Land-use and erosion of a Costa Rican Ultisol affect soil chemistry, mycorrhizal fungi and early regeneration. Forest Ecol Manag 144:1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Duponnois R, Plenchette C, Thioulouse J, Cadet P (2001) The mycorrhizal soil infectivity and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal spore communities in soils of different aged fallows in Senegal. Appl Soil Ecol 17:239–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Eason WR, Scullion J, Scott EP (1999) Soil parameters and plant responses associated with arbuscular mycorrhizas from contrasting grassland management regimes. Agr Ecosyst Environ 73:245–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Eisenhauer N (2012) Aboveground–belowground interactions as a source of complementarity effects in biodiversity experiments. Plant Soil 351:1–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eriksson Å (2001) Arbuscular mycorrhiza in relation to management history, soil nutrients and plant species diversity. Plant Ecol 155:129–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Garrido E, Bennett AE, Fornoni J, Strauss SY (2010) Variation in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonization modifies the expression of tolerance to above-ground defoliation. J Ecol 98:43–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. González-Cortés JC, Vega-Fraga M, Varela-Fregoso L, Martínez-Trujillo M, Carreón-Abud Y, Gavito ME (2012) Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) communities and land use change: the conversion of temperate forests to avocado plantations and maize fields in central Mexico. Fungal Ecol 5:16–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Guo YJ, Han JG (2008) Soil biochemical properties and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi as affected by afforestation of rangelands in northern China. J Arid Environ 72:1690–1697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hedley MJ, Stewart JWB, Chauhan BS (1982) Changes in inorganic and organic soil phosphorus fractions induced by cultivation practices and laboratory incubations. Soil Sci Soc Am J 46:970–976CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hoffman G (1967) Eine photometrische Methode zur Bestimmung der Phosphatase-Aktivität in Böden. Z Pflanzenernaehr Bodenkd 118:193–198Google Scholar
  16. Klironomos JN, McCune J, Moutoglis P (2004) Species of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi affect mycorrhizal responses to simulated herbivory. Appl Soil Ecol 26:133–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Landis FC, Gargas A, Givnish TJ (2004) Relationships among arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, vascular plants and environmental conditions in oak savannas. New Phytol 164:493–504CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. McGonigle TP, Miller MH, Evans DG, Fairchild GL, Swan JA (1990) A new method which gives an objective measure of roots by vesicular–arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. New Phytol 115:495–501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Medina-Roldán E, Arredondo JT, Huber-Sannwald E, Chapa-Vargas L, Olalde-Portugal V (2008) Grazing effects on fungal root symbionts and carbon and nitrogen storage in a shortgrass steppe in Central Mexico. J Arid Environ 72:546–556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mendoza R, Cabello M, Anchorena J, García I, Marbán L (2011) Soil parameters and host plants associated with arbuscular mycorrhizae in the grazed Magellanic steppe of Tierra del Fuego. Agr Ecosyst Environ 140:411–418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mulvaney RL, Khan SA (2001) Diffusion methods to determine different forms of nitrogen in soil hydrolysates. Soil Sci Soc Am J 65:1284–1292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Murphy J, Riley JP (1962) A modified single solution method for the determination of phosphate in natural waters. Anal Chim Acta 27:31–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Piippo S, Huhta AP, Rautio P, Markkola A, Tuomi J (2011) Grazing tolerance and mycorrhizal colonization: effects of resource manipulation and plant size in biennial Gentianella campestris. Flora 206:808–813CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Reidinger S, Eschen R, Gange AC, Finch P, Bezemer TM (2012) Arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization, plant chemistry, and aboveground herbivory on Senecio jacobaea. Acta Oecol 38:8–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sai SB (2001) Serious desertification of desert steppe zone and its control in northern Inner Mongolia. J Arid Land Resour Environ 15:34–39Google Scholar
  26. Schüßler A, Walker C (2010) The Glomeromycota. A species list with new families and genera. Edinburgh & Kew, UK: The Royal Botanic Garden; Munich, Germany: Botanische Staatssammlung Munich; Oregon, USA: Oregon State University. URL: ISBN-13: 978–1466388048; ISBN-10: 1466388048
  27. Su YY, Guo LD (2007) Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in non-grazed, restored and over-grazed grassland in the Inner Mongolia steppe. Mycorrhiza 17:689–693PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Teague WR, Dowhower SL, Baker SA, Haile N, DeLaune PB, Conover DM (2011) Grazing management impacts on vegetation, soil biota and soil chemical, physical and hydrological properties in tall grass prairie. Agric Ecosyst Environ 141:310–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Techau MEC, Bjørnlund L, Christensen S (2004) Simulated herbivory effects on rhizosphere organisms in pea (Pisum sativum) depended on phosphate. Plant Soil 264:185–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Tian H, Gai JP, Zhang JL, Christie P, Li XL (2009) Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associated with wild forage plants in typical steppe of eastern Inner Mongolia. Eur J Soil Biol 45:321–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Tisserant B, Gianinazzi-Pearson V, Gianinazzi S, Gollotte A (1993) In planta histochemical staining of fungal alkaline phosphatase activity for analysis of efficient arbuscular mycorrhizal infections. Mycol Res 97:245–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Van der Heijden MGA, Klironomos JN, Ursic M, Moutoglis P, Streitwolf-Engel R, Boller T, Wiemken A, Sanders IR (1998) Mycorrhizal fungal diversity determines plant biodiversity. ecosystem variability and productivity. Nature 396:69–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Vierheilig H, Coughlan AP, Wyss U, Piché Y (1998) Ink and vinegar, a simple staining technique for arbuscular–mycorrhizal fungi. Appl Environ Microbiol 64:5004–5007PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Villarreal M, Cochran RC, Johnson DE, Towne EG, Wilson GWT, Hartnett DC, Goodin DG (2006) The use of pasture reflectance characteristics and arbuscular mycorrhizal root colonization to predict pasture characteristics of tallgrass prairie grazed by cattle and bison. Grass Forage Sci 61:32–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Wearn JA, Gange AC (2007) Above-ground herbivory causes rapid and sustained changes in mycorrhizal colonization of grasses. Oecologia 153:959–971PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wei ZJ, Yang J, Yang SM (2003) Studies on community stability under different grazing systems on desert steppe. J Soil Water Conserv 17:121–124Google Scholar
  37. Yeomans JC, Bremner JM (1988) A rapid and precise method for routine determination of organic carbon in soil. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 13:1467–1476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Yuen SH, Pollard AG (1953) Determination of nitrogen in soil and plant materials: use of boric acid in the micro-kjeldahl method. J Sci Food Agric 4:490–496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Yun XJ, Wei ZJ, Yang J, Liu HM (2010) Relationship between aboveground standing crop on the Stipa breviflore grassland in banning and delaying grazing and soil water content. Chin J Grassl 2:75–79Google Scholar
  40. Zhao LX (2004) Physical process of grassland desertification. Pratacultural Sci 21:7–10Google Scholar
  41. Zhao LP, Jiang Y (1986) Research of determination of soil phosphatase activity. Chin J Soil Sci 17:138–141Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gegenbaoleer Bai
    • 1
  • Yuying Bao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Guoxin Du
    • 1
  • Yunlong Qi
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Life SciencesInner Mongolia UniversityHohhotChina

Personalised recommendations