Plants commonly host multiple microbial symbionts that regulate productivity and other ecosystem processes, yet multi-symbiont interactions within hosts are rarely examined. We evaluated how the presence of aboveground Epichloë fungal endophytes (E+, symbiotic, and E-, endophyte experimentally removed) altered belowground colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in three grass species in a common environment. We sampled from E+ and E- populations of woodland bluegrass (Poa sylvestris A. Gray), grove bluegrass (Poa alsodes A. Gray), and tall fescue (Schedonorus arundinaceus Schreb.) in long-term experimental plots in woodlands near Nashville, Indiana. Endophyte symbiosis aboveground increased AMF colonization of roots in both Poa species, although this effect was only significant for hyphal colonization in P. sylvestris. Endophyte symbiosis did not significantly alter AMF colonization in S. arundinaceus, in contrast to prior findings for this species. Our results illustrate the effects of Epichloë sp. on AMF cosymbionts are not easily generalizable across plant-endophyte symbiota, even those that co- occur in the same ecosystem.
|Number of pages
|American Midland Naturalist
|Published - Apr 1 2018
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgments.—E. Kalosa-Kenyon was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (DBI-1062890). Long term plant community research plots at the Indiana University Research and Teaching Preserve were supported by DEB#0542781 to J. Rudgers and 0949719 to J. Rudgers and V. Huguet. We thank Elisabeth Carlisle, Jim Nelson, and Dan Weber at the University of Kentucky for their help with sample collection and analysis, and Shaun Ziegler (Kentucky State Nature Preserve Commission) for his assistance navigating and maintaining research plots.
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics