Interrelationships between mycorrhizal symbiosis, soil pH and plant sex modify the performance of Antennaria dioica

Varga, Sandra and Kytöviita, Minna-Maarit (2010) Interrelationships between mycorrhizal symbiosis, soil pH and plant sex modify the performance of Antennaria dioica. Acta Oecologica, 36 (3). pp. 291-298. ISSN 1146- 609X

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AM symbiosis is usually beneficial for plants, but the benefits gained may depend on the soil abiotic factors. In dioecious plants, female and male individuals have different resource demands and allocation patterns. As a consequence of these differences, it is logical to assume that female and male plants differ in their relationship with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, although this has rarely been examined. We used a factorial greenhouse experiment to investigate whether female and male plants in the dioecious model species Antennaria dioica have a different relationship with their AM symbionts under two soil pH levels. In particular, we asked: (1) Do the sexes in A. dioica have sex-specific benefits from AM symbiosis? (2) If so, which sex gains the highest benefit? (3) How does soil pH affect the sex e AM fungal rela- tionship? Our results indicate that the sexes responded similarly to AM symbiosis and pH when mycorrhizal benefit was examined as growth and phosphorus accumulation. However, the sexes differed in response to AM symbiosis in terms of survival, as mortality was increased due to AM symbiosis in female plants whilst the opposite effect was detected in males. The planteAM fungus relationship was significantly affected by soil pH as lowering the soil pH decreased the benefits gained by the plants from the mycorrhizal fungus. Taken together, our findings indicate that AM symbiosis is beneficial for plants depending on the life history trait considered. In addition, interactions between plants and their AM symbionts are modified by soil factors and the sex of the plant.

Keywords:Arbuscular mycorrhizas, Antennaria dioica, Dioecy, Glomus claroideum, Mycorrhizal benefit, Plant-fungus interactions
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C180 Ecology
C Biological Sciences > C220 Mycology
C Biological Sciences > C200 Botany
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:17276
Deposited On:25 Apr 2015 17:42

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