, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 21–32 | Cite as

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities along a pedo-hydrological gradient in a Central Amazonian terra firme forest

  • Rejane de Oliveira Freitas
  • Erika BuscardoEmail author
  • Laszlo Nagy
  • Alex Bruno dos Santos Maciel
  • Rosilaine Carrenho
  • Regina C. C. Luizão
Original Article


Little attention has been paid to plant mutualistic interactions in the Amazon rainforest, and the general pattern of occurrence and diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in these ecosystems is largely unknown. This study investigated AMF communities through their spores in soil in a ‘terra firme forest’ in Central Amazonia. The contribution played by abiotic factors and plant host species identity in regulating the composition, abundance and diversity of such communities along a topographic gradient with different soils and hydrology was also evaluated. Forty-one spore morphotypes were observed with species belonging to the genera Glomus and Acaulospora, representing 44 % of the total taxa. Soil texture and moisture, together with host identity, were predominant factors responsible for shaping AMF communities along the pedo-hydrological gradient. However, the variability within AMF communities was largely associated with shifts in the relative abundance of spores rather than changes in species composition, confirming that common AMF species are widely distributed in plant communities and all plants recruited into the forest are likely to be exposed to the dominant sporulating AMF species.


Amazonia Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Host specificity Pedo-hydrological gradient Spore community composition Abundance and diversity Tropical forests 



Research was supported by grants from the Brazilian National Council of Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq) to ROF (PCI-DC 311812/2011-2) and the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) to EB (SFRH/BPD/77795/2011). The Biodiversity Programme (PPbio) of the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology is thanked for financial help.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rejane de Oliveira Freitas
    • 1
  • Erika Buscardo
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Laszlo Nagy
    • 2
  • Alex Bruno dos Santos Maciel
    • 1
  • Rosilaine Carrenho
    • 4
  • Regina C. C. Luizão
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA)Coordenação de Biodiversidade (CBIO)ManausBrazil
  2. 2.Escritório Central do LBAInstituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA)ManausBrazil
  3. 3.Centro de Ecologia Funcional, Departamento de Ciências da Vida, Faculdade de Ciências e TecnologiaUniversidade de CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  4. 4.Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade Estadual de MaringáMaringáBrazil

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