The presence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in wetlands is widespread. Wetlands are transition ecosystems between aquatic and terrestrial systems, where shallow water stands or moves over the land surface. The presence of AMF in wetlands suggests that they are ecologically significant; however, their function is not yet clearly understood. With the aim of determining the overall magnitude and direction of AMF effect on wetland plants associated with them in pot assays, we conducted a meta-analysis of data extracted from 48 published studies. The AMF effect on their wetland hosts was estimated through different plant attributes reported in the studies including nutrient acquisition, photosynthetic activity, biomass production, and saline stress reduction. As the common metric, we calculated the standardized unbiased mean difference (Hedges’ d) of wetland plant performance attributes in AMF-inoculated plants versus non-AMF-inoculated plants. Also, we examined a series of moderator variables regarding symbiont identity and experimental procedures that could influence the magnitude and direction of an AMF effect. Response patterns indicate that wetland plants significantly benefit from their association with AMF, even under flooded conditions. The beneficial AMF effect differed in magnitude depending on the plant attribute selected to estimate it in the published studies. The nature of these benefits depends on the identity of the host plant, phosphorus addition, and water availability in the soil where both symbionts develop. Our meta-analysis synthetizes the relationship of AMF with wetland plants in pot assays and suggests that AMF may be of comparable importance to wetland plants as to terrestrial plants.
Mycorrhiza – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 4, 2018
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