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Abstract Detail



Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions

Call, Shannon M. [1].

Edge effect on mycorrhizal infection occurrence in Gutierrezia sarothrae [Asteraceae].

Mycorrhizas are a mutualistic relationship between fungi and vascular plants.  Fungal associations with plants may respond to disturbance such as hiking trails.  Trail edges affect plant community diversity by altering water runoff, soil moisture, or encouraging invasive species growth. Because trail edges impact plant communities, I hypothesize mycorrhizal colonization occurrence may decrease as distance to a trail edge decreases. To test this hypothesis, Gutierrezia sarothrae [Asteraceae], a woody shrub native to the western United States, was sampled from three separate distances from two site with hiking trails with were similar in elevation, disturbance level and plant vegetation. Plant samples were collected one meter, ten meters and twenty meters from the edge of the trail at each site.  Roots were cleared, then stained with trypan blue (0.05% trypan in lactoglycerol). Occurrence of infection was observed using a phase contrast microscope at 400x. Statistical significance was determined using chi-square analysis. There was a significant difference in mycorrhizal associations from 1 meter to 10 meters (p<0.01), and 10 meters and 20 meters (p<0.005).  There was no difference however, between roots at 1 meter and 20 meters (p> 0.9).  Mycorrhizal infection was highest at 10 meter from a trail, while those at 1 meter and 20 meter showed less colonization occurrence.  Contrary to expectations, mycorrhizal infection occurrence was highest at 10 meters from the trail and plants located at 20 meters showed less infection than all other groups. This was likely due to the existence of an old trail which vegetation has since grown over.  Differential mycorrhizal colonization frequency, suggests a negative response near trail edges.  Because microhabitats are affected by trail proximity, understanding how mycorrhizas respond to disturbance can help natural resource managers understand the effects of recreational land use on plant communities.


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1 - Weber State University, Botany Department, 3848 Harrison Blvd, Ogden, UT, 84408

Keywords:
Mycorrhizal
Trail
edge
occurrence
Gutierrezia
sarothrae.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 9
Location: Cottonwoods North/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 10:45 AM
Number: 9003
Abstract ID:260
Candidate for Awards:None


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