, Volume 23, Issue 8, pp 655–661 | Cite as

Mycorrhizal status of Cyperaceae from New Caledonian ultramafic soils: effects of phosphorus availability on arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization of Costularia comosa under field conditions

  • Alexandre Lagrange
  • Laurent L’Huillier
  • Hamid Amir
Short Note


Plants from the Cyperaceae family (sedges), usually considered as non-mycorrhizal, constitute almost exclusively the herbaceous stratum of the ultramafic maquis in New Caledonia. These plants are pioneers and are important for the ecological restoration of mined areas. Costularia comosa, one of the most common sedges in this environment, was grown under field conditions on ultramafic soil, fertilized or not with phosphate and/or nitrogen. Results showed that the addition of phosphate to the soil induced a clear increase in mycorrhizal colonization of C. comosa and an increase in arbuscule abundance, reflecting the establishment of a functional mycorrhizal symbiosis. Significant positive correlations were found among mycorrhizal parameters and plant or soil phosphorus concentrations. Nitrogen fertilization did not affect mycorrhizal colonization of C. comosa. The improvement in mycorrhizal colonization by phosphate fertilization did not influence significantly nickel concentrations in the roots and shoots of plants. This study demonstrated that phosphate fertilization of ultramafic soil improved mycorrhizal colonization of C. comosa, with formation of a functional symbiosis under field conditions.


Ultramafic soils Arbuscular mycorrhiza Phosphorus Cyperaceae Costularia Field experiment 



The authors gratefully acknowledge SIRAS Pacific for providing a part of the PhD grant of Alexandre Lagrange and for providing the experimental field. We are also grateful to Sysmin European fund, Jean Paul Ambrosi for his helping advices, Valérie Médevielle for her technical support, and the trainee Vanesse Labeyrie (Master 2, SupAgro).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandre Lagrange
    • 1
  • Laurent L’Huillier
    • 2
  • Hamid Amir
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire Insulaire du Vivant et de l’Environnement (LIVE)Université de la Nouvelle-CalédonieNoumea CedexNew Caledonia
  2. 2.Institut Agronomique néoCalédonien (IAC)PaitaNew Caledonia

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