The effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis on the growth of clonal plants in nutritionally homogeneous and heterogeneous soil environment

Name: The effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis on the growth of clonal plants in nutritionally homogeneous and heterogeneous soil environment
Researchers: Sudová Radka (researcher)
Project Type: B - national grants (GA ČR, GA AVČR)
Realization from: 2005
Realization to: 2007
Summary: The project dealt with interactions between clonal plants and obligatory symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. High levels of mycorrhizal colonisation were found in the roots of seven stoloniferous plant species coexisting at the model field site. This findings contradicts the theory that plants invest preferably in one strategy of nutrient acquisition only, i.e., stolon (or rhizom) formation or maintenance of mycorrhizal symbiosis. Two species with long stolons reaching dozens centimentres away from a mother ramet, Potentilla reptans and Fragaria moschata, were chosen for a detailed experimental study. The effects of native AM fungi were tested in a series of pot experiments where ramet pairs were subjected to different environments with respect to the presence of mycorrhizal propagules or nutrient content. AM inoculation caused a reduction of plant biomass in both species and led to a lower stolon and ramet formation. In nutritionally homogeneous substrate, AM inoculation led to a more balanced distribution of biomass between mother and daughter ramets. In nutritionally heterogeneous environment, the effect of inoculation on biomass allocation depended on the contrast in nutrient content between neighbouring root compartments.

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