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The missing link in grassland restoration : arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi inoculation increases plant diversity and accelerates succession [Journal of Applied Ecology]

Keywords : arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, coefficient of conservatism, Floristic Quality Index, fungal community composition, fungal inoculation, plant and fungal interactions, plant diversity, plant succession, restoration, seed recruitment

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

1.Because soil microbial communities are often altered by anthropogenic disturbance, successful plant community restoration may require the restoration of beneficial soil microbes, such as arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Recent evidence suggests that later successional grassland species are more strongly affected by AM fungi relative to early successional plants and that late successional plants consistently benefit from some AM fungi but not other AM fungal species. Many of these late successional species are also often missing in restorations despite being heavily seeded.
2.To assess the effects of AM fungal composition within grassland restorations, we inoculated plots with six different AM fungal community treatments including one of four different AM fungal species isolated from a prairie, a mixture of all four fungal species, and a non-inoculated control. AM fungi were introduced by planting 16 different inoculated nurse plants into replicated plots. We also seeded the restoration with a diverse, 54 species prairie seed mixture.(...)

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