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Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities Change During Natural Vegetation Restoration in Karst Region

Aug 12, 2015     Email"> PrintText Size

Karst rocky desertification hazard,which restricts ecological restoration and the well-being of local people, is one important geoecological disaster existing in the karst area. The karst rocky desertification comprehensive prevention and cure is a long - term and massive system project.

A research team led by Prof. SU Yirong from Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISA) has concentrated on the study of karst rocky desertification and eco-restoration for many years. The research team believed that the recovery of vegetation is one of the best effective ways for treatment desertification and plant survival is a core problem for the vegetation restoration. Arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM), one of the most broad mycorrhizal, can supply soil nutrients and water to plants and enhance plants' ability of absorbing.

Recently, Dr. LIANG Yueming in this team published a paper to illustrate the changes of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities during natural vegetation restoration in a karst region.

According to her research, AM fungi are found to be widely distributed in karst region and she focus on the information about the relationships between plant species diversity, soil nutrients and AM fungal diversity in this region.

She used pyrosequencing approach to determine the genetic diversity and composition of AM fungal communities in four typical ecosystems of vegetation restoration (tussock, shrub, secondary forest, and primary forest) in a karst region. The diversity, richness, and evenness of plant species were evaluated through field surveys. Basic soil properties were measured.

Her research revealed that plant species diversity and soil nutrient contents increased with vegetation restoration from tussock to primary forest, but the diversity of AM fungi followed the order of shrub ≈ secondary forest ≈ primary forest < tussock. The composition of AM fungi and plant communities differed significantly between ecosystems (p<0.05). The richness of AM fungi was negatively correlated with both the plant diversity (the indices of plant Shannon-Wiener, evenness and richness) and soil properties (soil available phosphorus, soil organic carbon and pH) (p<0.05).

Moreover, redundancy analysis showed that the AM fungal communities closely linked to plant richness, soil organic carbon, soil available phosphorus and pH. These results suggest that the diversity and composition of AM fungi in karst region are influenced by plant communities and soil nutrient conditions.

This project was supported by the National Science-technology Support Plan Projects (Grant No. 2012BAD05B03-6), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31070476, 31270551 and 41301273).

The study entitled “Influence of plant communities and soil properties during natural vegetation restoration on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities in a Karst region” has been published in Ecological Engineering.

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(Editor: CHEN Na)

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