Ailanthus altissima tree seedlings were excavated from each of two habitats: (1) a forest adjacent to a trail and stream and (2) a non-forested steep, barren slope adjacent to a major highway. Each seedling root system was examined for colonization by mycorrhizal structures using light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The roots were colonized by one or more endomycorrhizal fungi with Arum-type colonization. Endomycorrhizal colonization of the seedlings from the non-forested site (65.2%) was significantly greater than that of the seedlings from the forested site (37.9%). Colonization by intercellular hyphae and vesicles was significantly greater in the non-forested habitat than the forested habitat. This exotic invasive species may benefit from the rapid colonization of endomycorrhizae in more extreme open environments.
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Vol. 134 • No. 1