Simulated mammal browsing and host gender effects on dual mycorrhizal Salix repens

Saravesi, Karita; Markkola, Annamari; Rautio, Pasi; Tuomi, Juha
January 2011
Botany;Jan2011, Vol. 89 Issue 1, p35
Academic Journal
We studied effects of simulated browsing and host plant gender on mycorrhizal status of dioecious Salix repens, forming both ectomycorrhizal (ECM) and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbioses. Owing to their lower biomass production, AM fungi may require less carbon from the host and have a competitive advantage over ECM fungi when carbon availability is reduced. Further, in dioecious plants, females have generally higher reproduction costs than males. Hence, herbivory may be especially detrimental to female plants and their ECM symbionts in favour of AM symbionts. Fifty percent shoot clipping increased the number of vegetative shoots but reduced the proportion of flowering shoots equally in male and female hosts. Despite clipping, ECM and AM colonization remained unchanged. However, slightly reduced soil fungal biomass was found in clipped patches of male S. repens. Our novel finding of AM spores occurring in the ECM fungal mantle of S. repens roots suggests that both mycorrhizal partners may coexist in the same root segment. Since no interaction between gender and clipping in fungal parameters was detected, we conclude that female and male S. repens are equally preferable hosts for fungal symbionts, even when carbohydrate availability has been decreased because of herbivory.


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