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Arbuscular mycorrhizal propagules in soils from a tropical forest and an abandoned cornfield in Quintana Roo, Mexico: visual comparison of most-probable-number estimates.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Mycorrhiza
1432-1890
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Volume
21
Issue
2
Pages
139–144
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00572-010-0336-0
PMID: 20714755
Source
Medline

Abstract

The present study was aimed at comparing the number of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) propagules found in soil from a mature tropical forest and that found in an abandoned cornfield in Noh-Bec Quintana Roo, Mexico, during three seasons. Agricultural practices can dramatically reduce the availability and viability of AMF propagules, and in this way delay the regeneration of tropical forests in abandoned agricultural areas. In addition, rainfall seasonality, which characterizes deciduous tropical forests, may strongly influence AMF propagules density. To compare AMF propagule numbers between sites and seasons (summer rainy, winter rainy and dry season), a "most probable number" (MPN) bioassay was conducted under greenhouse conditions employing Sorgum vulgare L. as host plant. Results showed an average value of 3.5 ± 0.41 propagules in 50 ml of soil for the mature forest while the abandoned cornfield had 15.4 ± 5.03 propagules in 50 ml of soil. Likelihood analysis showed no statistical differences in MPN of propagules between seasons within each site, or between sites, except for the summer rainy season for which soil from the abandoned cornfield had eight times as many propagules compared to soil from the mature forest site for this season. Propagules of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi remained viable throughout the sampling seasons at both sites. Abandoned areas resulting from traditional slash and burn agriculture practices involving maize did not show a lower number of AMF propagules, which should allow the establishment of mycotrophic plants thus maintaining the AMF inoculum potential in these soils.

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