Alternate Title

Arbuscular Mycorrhizae Occur in Common Spartina Species


We report the presence of arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM) in Spartina alterniflora Loisel roots. Roots were sampled for AM in field-collected and greenhouse-maintained Spartina patens (Aiton) Muhl. and S. alterniflora, the dominant species of Louisiana’s brackish and saline marshes, respectively. Previous reports of AM association in these Spartina sp. are limited and conflicting. Field-collected S. alterniflora had minimal AM (2.4%), whereas 39.5% of the S. patens roots examined were AM colonized. Greenhouse conditions of reduced salinity [3 parts per thousand (ppt)] appeared to increase AM association for S. patens compared with field samples. AM occurrence varied significantly among the three sample sites. Our results of low AM association in S. alterniflora differ from previous studies and confirm one previous report of AM in S. patens. Confirming AM association previously thought to be nonexistent in S. alterniflora marshes is a necessary first step in determining if AM influence zonation and competition.