Outman, Rebekah .
Arbuscular Mycorrhizas and Biological Invasions: A Family Affair?
Invasive plant species are known to decrease biodiversity and negatively effect native plant communities. However, the environmental factors that contribute to invasiveness are still poorly understood. Arbuscular mycorrhizas (AM) are an important biotic factor in many ecosystems and may contribute tothe success of invasive species as they colonize new habitats. However, previous studies have provided conflicting data as to whether this is the case. Four groups of native and non-native ferns were examined for evidence of mycorrhizal colonization and the average level of mycorrhizal colonization for each species was determined. No significant differences were found in the level of AM colonization between closely related native and non-native species. Among confamilial groups however, significant differences in overall levels of mycorrhizal colonization were found. There appeared to be no significant effects of either month of collection or substrate on the levels of AM colonization. The differences in level of mycorrhizal colonization did correlate well with the phylogenetic relationships among the fern families examined. These findings indicate that the non-native species tested are able to form relationships with AM fungi outside their native range and have a similar level of responsiveness to AM as closely related native species. Additionally, there was no observed pattern of colonization level among the non-native species examined suggesting that evolutionary relationships better predict a species response to AM fungi than whether a species is native or non-native.
Log in to add this item to your schedule
1 - University of Miami, Biology, 5710 SW 56th Street, Miami, FL, 33155, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Union C/Hyatt
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 1:30 PM