Impact of soil salinity on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi biodiversity and microflora biomass associated with Tamarix articulataVahll rhizosphere in arid and semi-arid Algerian areas.

Bencherif, K., Boutekrabt, A., Fontaine, J., Laruelle, F., Dalpé, Y., and Anissa, L.H.S. (2015). "Impact of soil salinity on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi biodiversity and microflora biomass associated with Tamarix articulataVahll rhizosphere in arid and semi-arid Algerian areas.", Science of the Total Environment, 533, pp. 488-494. doi : 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.07.007  Access to full text

Abstract

Soil salinization is an increasingly important problem in many parts of the world, particularly under arid and semi-arid areas. Unfortunately, the knowledge about restoration of salt affected ecosystems using mycorrhizae is limited. The current study aims to investigate the impact of salinity on the microbial richness of the halophytic plant Tamarix articulata rhizosphere. Soil samples were collected from natural sites with increasing salinity (1.82–4.95 ds.m-1). Six arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) species were isolated from the different saline soils and identified as Septoglomus constrictum, Funneliformis mosseae, Funneliformis geosporum, Funneliformis coronatum, Rhizophagus fasciculatus, and Gigaspora gigantea. The number of AMF spores increased with soil salinity. Total root colonization rate decreased from 65 to 16% but remained possible with soil salinity. Microbial biomass in T. articulata rhizosphere was affected by salinity. The phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) C16:1ω5 as well as i15:0, a15:0, i16:0, i17:0, a17:0, cy17:0, C18:1ω7 and cy19:0 increased in high saline soils suggesting that AMF and bacterial biomasses increased with salinity. In contrast, ergosterol amount was negatively correlated with soil salinity indicating that ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic fungal biomasses were reduced with salinity. Our findings highlight the adaptation of arbuscular and bacterial communities to natural soil salinity and thus the potential use of mycorrhizal T. articulata trees as an approach to restore moderately saline disturbed arid lands.

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