Arbuscular mycorrhizal association in Conocarpus erectus (Combretaceae) in mangroves from Yucatán, México

Keywords: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, coastal wetland, mangrove, salinity, soil moisture content


Background: Soil flooding and salinity can be limiting for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), yet they are found in mangrove ecosystems. Arbuscular mycorrhizal association could influence the functioning of mangrove ecosystems, but little is known about its roll and balance in these dynamic systems.

Question: What is the status of the arbuscular mycorrhizal association in C. erectus under natural conditions?

Species study: Conocarpus erectus is a tree or shrub species that establishes in mangrove ecosystems and is tolerant to elevated levels of salinity and flooding.

Study site and dates: Three zones representing a range of conditions of salinity were selected in the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve in Mexico, as well as two contrasting collecting seasons in 2009 and 2010: northwind season and drought season. 

Methods: Roots were sampled from C. erectus plants in each zone to evaluate the percentage of arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization and rhizospheric soil samples were taken to evaluate AMF spore density and species richness. 

Results: The highest percentage of root colonization was recorded in the site of highest salinity during the northwind season, with this value decreasing in the drought season. The same seasonal pattern was observed in spore density. The highest richness was recorded in the site of lowest salinity in both seasons. A total of 16 AMF species were identified. 

Conclusions: The results suggest that seasonality, in its relation with soil salinity and soil water availability, can influence the development and symbiotic association of the AMF in mangrove associated communities dominated by C. erectus.


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Author Biographies

Thai Khan Ramírez-Viga, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

PhD student in Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México as part of the program Posgrado en Ciencias Biológicas. Member of Sociedad Mexicana de la Simbiosis Micorrízica. Research interest: Ecology of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in mangrove ecosystems.

José Alberto Ramos-Zapata, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán

Ecología Tropical

Cristobal Cáceres G. Cantón, Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala, México

Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP)

Bio Statement: Head of the Reserva de la Biosfera Ria Lagartos, CONANP

Laura Hernández-Cuevas, Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala, México

Full time lecturer, Laboratorio de Biología Molecular, Centro de Investigación en Genética y Ambiente

Patricia Guadarrama-Chávez, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Bio Statement: Technician at Laboratorio de Ecología y Manejo de Costas y Mares, Facultad de Ciencias, UNAM.

Arbuscular mycorrhizal association in Conocarpus erectus (Combretaceae) in mangroves from Yucatán, México


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How to Cite
Ramírez-Viga, T. K., Ramos-Zapata, J. A., Cáceres G. Cantón, C., Hernández-Cuevas, L., & Guadarrama-Chávez, P. (2020). Arbuscular mycorrhizal association in Conocarpus erectus (Combretaceae) in mangroves from Yucatán, México. Botanical Sciences, 98(1), 66-75.