Patterns of initial saprophytic fungal colonization of grass roots from two severely disturbed soils.

J. C. Zak, D. Parkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Development of the root-surface fungal assemblages of Agropyron trachycaulum grown on amended oil-sands tailings and a subalpine coal-mine spoil from Alberta was followed. Fungal colonization of the root surface was rapid, with equilibrium numbers to species reached 2 wk after plant emergence. Although application of fertilizer, peat or sewage sludge to these spoils had no effect on the general form of the colonization curve, peat amendation did result in significantly higher numbers of species on the root surfaces. Species turnover within all assemblages was high throughout the growing season. The amount of species replacement ranged from a low of 67% to a high of 91% between consecutive 4-wk sampling periods, ie number of species was relatively constant, but species composition changed considerably. The structure of the root-surface fungal assemblages was characterized by a large proportion of rare species. The species abundance distributions were essentially negative exponential. The large incidence of rare species within the assemblages suggests that these root surfaces represent nonequilibrium systems with respect to species occurrences. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-602
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Botany
Volume62
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1984

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