Organic amendments increase phylogenetic diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in acid soil contaminated by trace elements
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In 1998, a toxic mine spill polluted a 55-km2 area in a basin southward to Doñana National Park (Spain). Subsequent attempts to restore those trace element-contaminated soils have involved physical, chemical, or biological methodologies. In this study, the restoration approach included application of different types and doses of organic amendments: biosolid compost (BC) and leonardite (LEO). Twelve years after the last addition, molecular analyses of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal communities associated with target plants (Lamarckia aurea and Chrysanthemum coronarium) as well as analyses of trace element concentrations both in soil and in plants were performed. The results showed an improved soil quality reflected by an increase in soil pH and a decrease in trace element availability as a result of the amendments and dosages. Additionally, the phylogenetic diversity of the AM fungal community increased, reaching the maximum diversity at the highest dose of BC. Trace element concentration was considered the predominant soil factor determining the AM fungal community composition. Thereby, the studied AM fungal community reflects a community adapted to different levels of contamination as a result of the amendments. The study highlights the long-term effect of the amendments in stabilizing the soil system.
KeywordsTrace element contaminated soils Ecosystem restoration Soil biodiversity Mine spill Soil fungal community Bioindicator
AGL2011-23617 project was supported by the CICYT of the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación of Spain and FEDER (EU). M Mar Montiel-Rozas acknowledges support from the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (FPI grant, BES-2012-05339).
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