Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities are influenced by agricultural land use and not soil type among the Chernozem great groups of the Canadian Prairie.

Bainard, L.D., Dai, M., Gomez, E.F., Torres-Arias, Y., Bainard, J.D., Sheng, M., Eilers, W.D., and Hamel, C. (2014). "Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities are influenced by agricultural land use and not soil type among the Chernozem great groups of the Canadian Prairie.", Plant and Soil, 387(1-2), pp. 351-362. doi : 10.1007/s11104-014-2288-1  Access to full text

Abstract

Background and aims: The aim of this study was to explore the diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in agroecosystems of the Canadian Prairies and determine whether soil type and land use impact the diversity and composition of these important communities. Methods: We used two separate field surveys and methods to address these questions. The first survey involved collecting soil samples from five different soil types and spores were morphologically identified from trap cultures established using these soil samples. The second survey involved collecting soil samples from two different land use types across the four major Chernozem great groups to characterize the AM fungal communities using 454 GS FLX pyrosequencing of the small subunit rDNA region. Results: The first survey found that Vertisolic soil had a significantly higher AM spore richness compared to the Chernozem soils. Both surveys revealed no effect of soil type on the diversity and composition of AM fungal communities among the Chernozem great groups. The two different methods used in this study revealed differences in the proportional representation of certain AM fungal taxa. Land use had a strong impact on the AM fungal communities in the Canadian Prairies as roadsides harboured a more diverse and compositionally different communities compared to annually cropped fields. Conclusions: Overall, soil type appears to have little to no effect on AM fungal communities among the Chernozem great groups in the Canadian Prairies, and land use practices impact the diversity and composition of these communities.

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