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1 March 2018 Examining Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Saltmarsh Hay (Spartina patens) and Smooth Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) in the Minas Basin, Nova Scotia
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Abstract

Saltmarshes are highly productive ecosystems that provide nursery and refuge habitat for animals, buffer storm-wave effects, and stabilize coastlines. Unfortunately, saltmarshes are in decline due to several cumulative stressors. Beneficial root-associated fungi are known to colonize >80% of land plants, but are understudied in intertidal zones. We examined arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in the roots of 2 dominant saltmarsh cordgrasses, Spartina patens (Saltmarsh Hay) and Spartina alterniflora (Smooth Cordgrass) (Poaceae), in the Minas Basin, NS, Canada. We collected 9 sediment cores at the beginning, middle, and end of the 2016 growing season (May–September) for each plant species (n = 54). We examined AMF root colonization using microscopy and fungal-DNA barcoding. Smooth Cordgrass had an AMF root colonization rate of 9%, while Saltmarsh Hay exhibited a higher AMF root colonization rate of 68%. We identified 1 AMF species, Funneliformis geosporum (Glomeraceae), in both host-plant species. We present the first Spartina spp. (cordgrasses) AMF root-colonization data for northeastern North America north of Connecticut, which may aid saltmarsh restoration efforts in Nova Scotia.

Tyler W. d'Entremont, Juan C. López-Gutiérrez, and Allison K. Walker "Examining Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Saltmarsh Hay (Spartina patens) and Smooth Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) in the Minas Basin, Nova Scotia," Northeastern Naturalist 25(1), (1 March 2018). https://doi.org/10.1656/045.025.0107
Published: 1 March 2018
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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