Necessary for the diversity and survival of most terrestrial plants, arbuscular mycorrhizae (AMF) are fungi that form mutualistic symbiotic relationships with approximately 90 percent of terrestrial plant families. While the biodiversity and abundance of plants and animals have received much attention, these patterns for the belowground organisms on which they rely, such as AMF, remain poorly understood. While studies have found indications that AMF are fundamental to ecosystem structure and function, relatively few of these studies have been conducted in situ. In their ability to accommodate the complexity found in natural ecosystems, in situ studies may be vital in providing information relevant to the restoration and conservation of ecosystems. This thesis sought to explore in situ how AMF diversity and root colonization changed across ecosystems along an elevation gradient in Southern California. The findings indicate that certain soil parameters may be especially influential and that intra-species competition may play a role in AMF root colonization.
|Advisor:||Rodrigue, Christine M.|
|Commitee:||Langdon, Spencer, Laris, Paul|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 55/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Ecology, Geography, Environmental science|
|Keywords:||Arbuscular mycorrhizae, Elevation gradient, Fungi, Mycorrhizae, Restoration, Symbiosis|
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