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.
- Arbuscular mycorrhiza
- Mycorrhizal inoculum potential
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science
- Water Science and Technology