Seasonality of mycorrhizae in coastal sand dunes of Baja California
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Populations of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were estimated from spores associated with seven plant species in coastal dunes at El Socorro, near Ensenada, Baja California, during six months in 1992. The seasonal patterns of percent root colonization were also described in the same species during the wet season (January–March) and the dry season (April–July). Comparisons were made between the pioneer species (Abronia maritima) in the mobile dunes and six species (Abronia umbellata, Atriplex julacea, Camissonia californica, Haplopappus venetus, Helianthus niveus and Lotus spp.) in the fixed dunes. Mycorrhizal colonization in Abronia maritima was slight (<1%) and we observed few spores (<1/g soil). All of the species in the fixed dune formed mycorrhizae with up to 80% colonization in early summer, and no more than 4 spores/g soil by late summer. The highest percentages of total colonization and abundance of spores did not coincide temporally for any of the seven species, but the percentages were higher in summer than in spring. Arbuscules were more abundant when the soil was moist, and vesicles more abundant when it was dry.
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