Arbuscular Mycorrhizas in Coastal Dunes
Sand dune systems are among the best studied of primary successional sites and have attracted the attention of plant ecologists for over a century (Cowles 1899). Surprisingly, the traditional explanation of dune succession overlooks the critical contribution of mutualistic fungi that facilitate the invasion of barren areas. In fact, many of the dominant, dune-building plants appear to be incapable of growing in the dune environment if their roots are not associated with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, the topic of this chapter.
The roots of dune species, like the vast majority of vascular plants, form symbiotic associations with fungi in the order Glomales (arbuscular mycorrhizas). The fungal mycelia provide mineral nutrients in exchange for carbon compounds of the host plant (Smith and Read 1997).
KeywordsArbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungus Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Mycorrhizal Fungus Sand Dune Arbuscular Mycorrhiza
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