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The invasion of 40 million hectares of the American West by cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) has caused widespread modifications in the vegetation of semi-arid ecosystems and increased the frequency of fires. In addition to well-understood mechanisms by which cheatgrass gains competitive advantage, it has been implicated in reducing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) abundance and taxa diversity. We evaluated this possibility at a high elevation site in a two-pronged approach. To test whether cheatgrass changed native AMF communities in ways that affected subsequent native plant growth, we grew cheatgrass and native plants in native soils and then planted native plants into these soils in a greenhouse experiment....
Plant invasions have the potential to significantly alter soil microbial communities, given their often considerable aboveground effects. We examined how plant invasions altered the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi of native plant roots in a grassland site in California and one in Utah. In the California site, we used experimentally created plant communities composed of exotic (Avena barbata, Bromus hordeaceus) and native (Nassella pulchra, Lupinus bicolor) monocultures and mixtures. In the Utah semi-arid grassland, we took advantage of invasion by Bromus tectorum into long-term plots dominated by either of two native grasses, Hilaria jamesii or Stipa hymenoides. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonizing roots were characterized...
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* 1 Arid ecosystems are a patch mosaic of plants and biological soil crusts that have been described as islands and mantles of fertility, respectively. To determine whether these patches are metabolically linked by a fungal network of dark septate and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), we measured translocation of nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) in a desert grassland using 15N-NO3 and 13C5, 15N-glutamic acid as substrates. * 2 Substrates were applied as point sources to either small patches of biotic crust or to a subset of leaves within a bunch grass tussock. * 3 Both substrates were translocated over approximately 1 m2 areas (approximately 20 patches) at rates up to 100 cm day?1 during a 4-day period following a...
Restoration of salt-affected soils is a global concern. In the western United States, restoration of salinized land, particularly in river valleys, often involves control of Tamarix, an introduced species with high salinity tolerance. Revegetation of hydrologically disconnected floodplains and terraces after Tamarix removal is often difficult because of limited knowledge regarding the salinity tolerance of candidate native species for revegetation. Additionally, Tamarix appears to be non-mycorrhizal. Extended occupation of Tamarix may deplete arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the soil, further decreasing the success of revegetation efforts. To address these issues, we screened 42 species, races, or ecotypes native...
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Communities of plants, biological soil crusts (BSCs), and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are known to influence soil stability individually, but their relative contributions, interactions, and combined effects are not well understood, particularly in arid and semiarid ecosystems. In a landscape-scale field study we quantified plant, BSC, and AM fungal communities at 216 locations along a gradient of soil stability levels in southern Utah, USA. We used multivariate modeling to examine the relative influences of plants, BSCs, and AM fungi on surface and subsurface stability in a semiarid shrubland landscape. Models were found to be congruent with the data and explained 35% of the variation in surface stability...
Biological soil crusts of arid and semiarid lands contribute significantly to ecosystem stability by means of soil stabilization, nitrogen fixation, and improved growth and establishment of vascular plant species. In this study, we examined growth and nutrient content of Bromus tectorum, Elymus elymoides, Gaillardia pulchella, and Sphaeralcea munroana grown in soil amended with one of three levels of biological soil crust material: (1) a low-fertility sand collected near Moab, Utah; (2) sand amended with a 1-cm top layer of excised soil crust; and (3) crushed crust material. In addition, all plants were inoculated with spores of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus, Glomus intraradices. Plants were harvested after...
The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of inoculation with a native arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus, Glomus mosseae (Nicol. and Gerd.) Gerd. and Trappe, or a filamentous fungus, Penicillium aurantiogriseum Dierckx 1901, on the establishment of Coronilla juncea L. seedlings grown in a polluted, semiarid soil. For that, root and shoot biomass, nutrient uptake, mycorrhizal colonisation and nitrate reductase (NR) and phosphatase activities were analysed. Six months after planting, the shoot biomass of C. juncea was increased only by the inoculation with G. mosseae (by about 62% compared with non-mycorrhizal plants). The shoot NR and root acid phosphatase activities were increased more by inoculation...


    map background search result map search result map Untangling the biological contributions to soil stability in semiarid shrublands Translocation of nitrogen and carbon integrates biotic crust and grass production in desert grassland Translocation of nitrogen and carbon integrates biotic crust and grass production in desert grassland Untangling the biological contributions to soil stability in semiarid shrublands