Effects of soil disturbance on root colonization by arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and growth of native and invasive plants

Weisenberger, Lauren A.
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
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Experiments were conducted to determine the effects of soil disturbance on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi root colonization and the growth of invasive and native Hawaiian plants, predicting higher AMP dependency in native species than invaders, with consequent decreased root colonization and plant growth with disturbance. Six species were grouped into 3 pairs (1 native: 1 invasive) and plants were grown in disturbed and undisturbed treatments in the greenhouse and field for 4/6 weeks. Root colonization, root length, stem and seedling height, leaf number, shoot and root biomass, and mycorrhizal dependency (MD) were measured. Root colonization was not affected by disturbance. Disturbance hindered growth of Acacia confusa, Acacia koa, Eidens pilosa, and Eidens sandvicensis. Data from only 1 pair (Acacia sp.) showed native plant MD greater than invader MD. The relationship between soil disturbance, root colonization, and plant growth may be species specific, and no native or invasive species trends were detected.
vii, 76 leaves
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Theses for the degree of Master of Science (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Botany (Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology); no. 3786
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