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Article

Does Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Determine Soil Microbial Functionality in Nutrient-Limited Mediterranean Arid Ecosystems?

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Unité de Recherche Biodiversité et Valorisation des Bio-ressources en Zones Arides (BVBZA), Faculté des Sciences de Gabès, Cité Erriadh Zrig 6072, Tunisie
2
Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes (cE3c), Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Edifício C2, Piso 5, Sala 2.5.03 Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
3
Center for Environmental Research and Studies, Jazan University, Jazan-P.O. Box 114, Jazan 82817, Saudi Arabia
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Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar (CESAM), Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Edifício C2, Piso 2, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2020, 12(6), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12060234
Received: 5 May 2020 / Revised: 28 May 2020 / Accepted: 4 June 2020 / Published: 10 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Diversity in the Mediterranean Area)
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are determinant for the performance of plant communities and for the functionality of terrestrial ecosystems. In natural ecosystems, grazing can have a major impact on mycorrhizal fungi and consequently on plant growth. The objective of this study was to evaluate the statements referred above in Mediterranean arid areas in Tunisia. Root samples and rhizosphere soils of five dominant herbaceous plants were studied at six distinct arid sites differing on soil proprieties and grazing intensity. At each site, chemical and dynamic properties of the soil were characterized as well as the AMF colonization intensity and the soil functionality. Results showed that the mycorrhizal frequency and intensity and spore density, varied between plants in the same site and, for each plant, between sites and evidenced a positive effect of mycorrhized plants on soil microbial activity. Grazing and soil properties strongly affected AMF composition and the soil microbial and biochemical dynamics, which presented the lowest values at the sites with the highest grazing intensities. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that AMF improve soil biological properties, supporting the hypothesis that mycorrhiza and grazing compete for plant photosynthates, and highlight the importance of mycorrhizal symbiosis towards soil functionality under arid conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; arid areas; biological properties; conserved areas; grazing; mycorrhiza arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; arid areas; biological properties; conserved areas; grazing; mycorrhiza
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mahmoudi, N.; Dias, T.; Mahdhi, M.; Cruz, C.; Mars, M.; Caeiro, M.F. Does Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Determine Soil Microbial Functionality in Nutrient-Limited Mediterranean Arid Ecosystems? Diversity 2020, 12, 234. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12060234

AMA Style

Mahmoudi N, Dias T, Mahdhi M, Cruz C, Mars M, Caeiro MF. Does Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Determine Soil Microbial Functionality in Nutrient-Limited Mediterranean Arid Ecosystems? Diversity. 2020; 12(6):234. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12060234

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mahmoudi, Neji, Teresa Dias, Mosbah Mahdhi, Cristina Cruz, Mohamed Mars, and Maria F. Caeiro. 2020. "Does Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Determine Soil Microbial Functionality in Nutrient-Limited Mediterranean Arid Ecosystems?" Diversity 12, no. 6: 234. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12060234

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