Heterogeneity in mycorrhizal inoculum potential of flood-deposited sediments

Mary J. Harner, Jeff S. Piotrowski, Ylva Lekberg, Jack A. Stanford, Matthias C. Rillig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Riparian areas are diverse systems where flooding creates new sites for establishment of vegetation. Symbioses with soil microorganisms, such as mycorrhizal fungi, affect vascular plant growth and community composition. It is unknown, however, how mycorrhizal fungi are dispersed along rivers and what potential they have to inoculate roots of plants establishing on recently deposited sedimentary surfaces of flood plains.We measured AMF inocula in sediment deposited by an average spring flood along an expansive riverine flood plain in Montana, USA, to determine whether AMF inocula were present in sediments and what types of propagules (spores, hyphae, or colonized root fragments) contribute to AMFinfectivity. Flood-deposited sediments contained sufficient inocula for AMF to colonize host plants (Sorghum sudanense) grown in a greenhouse, and both AMF hyphal lengths and spore densities were correlated with infectivity. Availability of mycorrhizal inocula, which is patchily distributed in this system,may lead to microsites that differ in ability to support establishment and growth of early-successional plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-337
Number of pages7
JournalAquatic Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Arbuscular mycorrhiza
  • Flood
  • Mycorrhizal inoculum potential
  • River

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology


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