Effects of different legume species and densities on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities in a karst grassland ecosystem.

Affiliation

Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changsha 410125, China; Huanjiang Observation and Research Station for Karst Ecosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Huanjiang 547100, China. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Legumes can increase nitrogen (N) input to soil via N2 fixation, and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can colonize legumes, which further promotes the acquisition of nutrients such as phosphorus (P). Nevertheless, little is known about how different legume species or planting densities affect soil AMF communities. We measured soil AMF abundance, diversity, and community composition in two legume species that had been planted at two densities in a karst grassland. Five treatments were used: control (CK), Amorpha fruticosa at 1.5 × 2 m density (AFD1), A. fruticosa at 1 × 1 m density (AFD2), Indigofera atropurpurea at 1.5 × 2 m density (IAD1), and I. atropurpurea at 1 × 1 m density (IAD2). The results showed that A. fruticosa plots were significantly richer in Redeckera spp., while I. atropurpurea plots were richer in Septoglomus. AMF abundance in AFD1, AFD2, and IAD1 was significantly higher than in CK, but AMF abundance in IAD2 was significantly lower than that in the other treatments. AMF richness and Chao1 estimator in AFD1 were significantly higher than in CK. Funneliformis, Septoglomus, and Acaulospora were significantly more abundant in IAD2 than in the other treatments. The interaction between legume species and density had a significant effect on AMF abundance and community composition. AMF abundance and diversity were significantly negatively and positively correlated with available P and microbial biomass N, respectively. These results suggest that different species and densities of legumes may increase available N, which could improve AMF abundance and alleviate soil P deficiencies. Planting A. fruticosa or I. atropurpurea at a low density may be an effective method to increase AMF colonization of roots, and thus, nutrient transport in karst grasslands.

Keywords

Ecological restoration,Hiseq sequencing,Mycorrhiza,Nitrogen fixing shrubs,Soil properties,

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