JOURNAL ARTICLE

Plant Identity Exerts Stronger Effect than Fertilization on Soil Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in a Sown Pasture

Yong Zheng, Liang Chen, Cai-Yun Luo, Zhen-Hua Zhang, Shi-Ping Wang, Liang-Dong Guo
Microbial Ecology 2016, 72 (3): 647-58
27423979
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi play key roles in plant nutrition and plant productivity. AM fungal responses to either plant identity or fertilization have been investigated. However, the interactive effects of different plant species and fertilizer types on these symbiotic fungi remain poorly understood. We evaluated the effects of the factorial combinations of plant identity (grasses Avena sativa and Elymus nutans and legume Vicia sativa) and fertilization (urea and sheep manure) on AM fungi following 2-year monocultures in a sown pasture field study. AM fungal extraradical hyphal density was significantly higher in E. nutans than that in A. sativa and V. sativa in the unfertilized control and was significantly increased by urea and manure in A. sativa and by manure only in E. nutans, but not by either fertilizers in V. sativa. AM fungal spore density was not significantly affected by plant identity or fertilization. Forty-eight operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of AM fungi were obtained through 454 pyrosequencing of 18S rDNA. The OTU richness and Shannon diversity index of AM fungi were significantly higher in E. nutans than those in V. sativa and/or A. sativa, but not significantly affected by any fertilizer in all of the three plant species. AM fungal community composition was significantly structured directly by plant identity only and indirectly by both urea addition and plant identity through soil total nitrogen content. Our findings highlight that plant identity has stronger influence than fertilization on belowground AM fungal community in this converted pastureland from an alpine meadow.

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