Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in a coastal wetland in Yucatan, Mexico

Diana Fabián, Patricia Guadarrama, Laura Hernadez-Cuevas, José Alberto Ramos-Zapata


Background: The wetlands provide important ecosystem services, but also represent a limiting environment for the organisms which are distributed there. However, these limiting factors can be overcome thanks to the biotic interactions established by the organisms.

Study species: Acoelorraphe wrightii is a palm inhabiting coastal wetlands and is found to be associated with arbuscular mycorrhzal fungi. On occasions, this palm is found to dominate and forms plant associations known as “tasistal” which are located close to the mangrove.

Question: The dynamic of the colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi of A. wrightii roots was evaluated, as well as the production of spores and the richness of AM fungal species in A. wrightii rhizosphere.

Study site: During the dry season (February-May), adult individuals of A. wrightii were selected in a “tasistal” located in Yucatan, Mexico.

Methods: Roots and rhizospheric soil were collected from the A. wrightii individuals collected in order to evaluate mycorrhizal colonization of the roots and to estimate the amount and identity of spores.

Results: Colonization by AMF in A. wrightii roots was found between 24 and 67 %. Significant differences were found in percentage of colonization for the different months sampled. Number of spores showed no variation in the time, and 22 species of AMF were identified, the most represented being Glomeraceae.

Conclusions: The colonization of A. wrightii roots by AM fungi throughout all the sampling months suggests that the interaction is important for the plant. A high richness of AMF species in its rhizosphere was found (most likely colonizing its roots) with the presence of some exclusive species at the beginning and end of the rainy season. It is important to investigate the arbuscular mycorrhizal interaction in other phenological seasons of the palm, and to evaluate the biotic and abiotic factors influencing this interaction.


Acoelorraphe wrightii; richness of AMF species; mycorrhizal colonization; spores; temporality

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