Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonize decomposing leaves of Myrica parvifolia, M. pubescens and Paepalanthus sp.

Catalina Aristizábal, Emma Lucía Rivera, David P. Janos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hyphae and vesicles of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) were found within the decomposing leaves of Myrica parvifolia, M. pubescens and Paepalanthus sp. at three montane sites in Colombia. Hyphae, vesicles, and arbuscule-like structures were also found within scale-like leaves of the rhizomes of Paepalanthus sp. The litter found in the vicinity of the roots was divided into three decomposition layers. The highest AMF colonization occurred in the most decomposed leaves, which were in close association with roots. In contrast, there were no differences in AMF colonization of roots present in the different decomposition layers. Colonization of decomposing leaves by AMF did not differ between the two closely related species M. parvifolia and M. pubescens, nor between two sites (Guatavita and Zipacón, Colombia) differing in soil fertility. Occurrence of vesicles in decomposing leaves was correlated with abundant AMF extraradical hyphae among the leaves. We propose that AMF enter decomposing leaves mechanically through vascular tissue. As a consequence, AMF are well positioned to obtain and efficiently recycle mineral nutrients released by decomposer microorganisms before their loss by leaching or immobilization in soil.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-228
Number of pages8
JournalMycorrhiza
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2004

Keywords

  • Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
  • Leaf litter
  • Nutrient cycling
  • Root proliferation
  • Tropical montane ecosystems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science

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