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Abstract Detail

Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions

Martinez, Brian [1], Twanabasu, Bishnu [2], Caleb, Smith [1], Jhapendra, Sapkota [1].

Effects of Prairie Restoration Management Practices on Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi.

Less than 1% of the historically largest biome, The Tallgrass Prairie, of the North America remained today. Texas Blackland prairie extends from Red River to San Antonio as continuum of the North American tall grass prairie in the southwest US. Symbiotic soil fungi, Mycorrhizal fungi, are found in soils of almost all ecosystems. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal (AM) fungi colonize plant roots and increase the root depletion zone by fungal hyphae extended out of the host roots. They help plants primarily to absorb water and nutrients from the soil. They also help to deter plant pathogens and herbivores. Since 1997, Austin College has been involved in the restoration of a former 100-acre farm lands to its original Blackland prairie state. The Clinton and Edith Sneed Environmental Research Area is currently examining in two management strategies; prescribed burning and controlled grazing with cattle. The treatment plots are managed by fire, grazing or fire in addition to grazing. To determine the effects of each management technique on subterranean symbiotic fungi, we obtained soil samples from each restoration plot and quantified the level of AM fungal colonization and spore density in the soil. Our goals were to determine how these symbiotic fungi responded to the fire and cattle grazing as prairie restoration technique and to better understand the health of the fungi in each type of managed plot. AM hyphal colonization in the plots treated with fire (35.37%±4.06%) and cattle grazing (38.14%±4.84%) was significantly higher (p<0.05) when compared to the remnant plots (23.44%±0.94%). Furthermore, AM spore density was higher in cattle grazed plots (34.62 spores/gm dry soil±3.69 spores/gm dry soil) than in the remnant plots (22.92 spores/gm dry soil±1.01 spores/gm dry soil). We believe that this study helps by facilitating a better understanding regarding restoration techniques and management of prairie ecosystems while considering belowground mycorrhizal fungi in the process.

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1 - Weatherford College, Science, 225 College Park Dr, Weatherford, TX, 76086, USA
2 - Weatherford College, 225 College Park Dr, Weatherford, TX, 76086, USA

vascular plant

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 24, Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions
Location: Fort Worth Ballroom 5/Omni Hotel
Date: Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM
Number: 24001
Abstract ID:354
Candidate for Awards:None

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