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Harvard Forest Symposium Abstract 2009

  • Title: Diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associated with tree seedlings in and outside of established garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) patches
  • Primary Author: Katherine Barto (Wright State University)
  • Additional Authors: Pedro Antunes (University of Guelph); Don Cipollini (Wright State University); John Klironomos (University of Guelph); Kristina Stinson (University of Massachusetts - Amherst )
  • Abstract:

    Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is a Eurasian native that has become invasive in North America. The invasive success of A. petiolata has been partly attributed to its production of allelopathic compounds that can limit the growth of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). Although such effects are well known, specific effects on the diversity of AMF by A. petiolata have not been explored. We collected sugar maple (Acer saccharum) seedlings from eight sites in Ohio and Massachusetts containing areas either invaded or uninvaded by A. petiolata. We measured AMF colonization in the seedlings, and isolated DNA from the roots for PCR-TRFLP analysis of AMF species richness and community composition. As expected, we found reduced AMF colonization in invaded areas, but only in Ohio. AMF TRF richness was not affected by invasion, but the composition of the AMF community changed significantly in half of the sites we monitored in each region. AMF communities may therefore be shifting in response to A. petiolata invasion and becoming more resistant to allelopathic effects.

  • Research Category: Conservation and Management, Invasive Plants, Pests & Pathogens, Physiological Ecology, Population Dynamics, and Species Interactions