Glomalin Production and Infectivity of Arbuscular-Mycorrhizal Fungi in Response to Grassland Plant Diversity


Arbuscular-mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are integral components of most terrestrial ecosystems, with complex interactions between plants and AMF. Our study assessed the impact of plant diversity of native grassland species on AMF infectivity and production of glomalin, an AMF hyphal glycoprotein that may play an important role in soil aggregation. The study was conducted over a 3-year period in field plots planted with 1, 2, 8, or 16 plant species. The mycorrhizal infection potential (MIP) of the plots was assayed in the greenhouse. Glomalin production and MIP were lowest in monocultures and were more closely correlated with plant diversity than with plant cover. Spore density was also greater in higher diversity plots. Lower AMF activity in monoculture plots may contribute to lower productivity and soil quality in plant monocultures. Immunoreactive glomalin levels varied seasonally, with higher levels in late summer than in late spring. Positive correlations were found between glomalin levels and spore density, and between MIP and spore density, but not between MIP and glomalin.

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R. Burrows, "Glomalin Production and Infectivity of Arbuscular-Mycorrhizal Fungi in Response to Grassland Plant Diversity," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 5 No. 1, 2014, pp. 103-111. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2014.51013.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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