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Growth responses to arbuscular mycorrhizae by rain forest seedlings vary with light intensity and tree species
 

Summary: Growth responses to arbuscular mycorrhizae by rain forest seedlings vary
with light intensity and tree species
Catherine A. Gehring1,2
1
Ecosystems Dynamics Group, Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University,
Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia; 2
Current address: Department of Biological Sciences and Merriam-Powell
Center for Environmental Research, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5640, USA
Received 11 December 2001; accepted in revised form 16 October 2002
Key words: Arbuscular mycorrhizae, Biomass allocation, Light gap, Rain forest, Seedling, Shaded understory
Abstract
Light intensity and root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are considered important factors af-
fecting the performance of rain forest plants, yet few studies have examined how these two factors interact.
Whether AM colonization promoted growth or caused shifts in biomass allocation in seedlings of four species of
Australian rain forest tree (Flindersia brayleana, Acmena resa, Cryptocarya mackinnoniana and Cryptocarya
angulata), grown in a glasshouse under light conditions that mimicked the shaded understory (3% PAR) and
small light gaps (10% PAR), was examined. Seedlings were grown in sterilized field soil and either inoculated
with AM fungi or provided sterile inoculum. Four major findings emerged. First, in all species, seedlings grown
in small gap light intensities were larger than seedlings grown in understory light intensities. Second, when seed-
ling biomass was included as a covariate, variation in light intensity was associated with significant shifts in

  

Source: Allan, Gery - Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University
Gehring, Catherine "Kitty" - Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology