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Interaction of Acaena elongata L. with Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi under Phosphorus Limitation Conditions in a Temperate Forest

Yasmin Vázquez-Santos1, Yuriana Martínez-Orea1, Javier Álvarez-Sánchez1, Noé Manuel Montaño2, Sara Lucía Camargo-Ricalde2, Silvia Castillo-Argüero1,*

1 Departamento de Ecología y Recursos Naturales, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Facultad de Ciencias, Ciudad de México, 04510, México
2 Departamento de Biología, División de Ciencias Biológicas y de la Salud, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa, Ciudad de México, 09340, México

* Corresponding Author: Silvia Castillo-Argüero. Email:

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Mycorrhizal Fungi and Sustainable Development of Agriculture)

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2021, 90(2), 605-619.


The aim of this study was to analyze the performance of Acaena elongata colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) to different phosphorus (P) concentrations, as a measure of AMF dependency. A. elongata, is a species from soils where P availability is limited, such as temperate forests. Our research questions were: 1) How do different P concentrations affect the AMF association in Acaena elongata, and 2) How does the AMF association influence A. elongata’s growth under different P concentrations? A. elongata’s growth, P content in plant tissue, AMF colonization and dependency were measured under four P concentrations: control (0 g P kg−1 ), low (0.05 g P kg−1 ), intermediate (0.2 g P kg−1 ) and high (2 g P kg−1 ) in different harvests. A complete randomized block design was applied. A. elongata’s growth was higher under -AMF in intermediate and high P concentrations, and the lowest growth corresponded to +AMF in the low and intermediate P concentration. We observed a negative effect on the root biomass under +AMF in intermediate P concentration, while the P concentration had a positive effect on the leaf area ratio. The AMF colonization in A. elongata decreased in the highest P concentration and it was favored under intermediate P concentration; while the low and the high concentrations generated a cost-benefit imbalance. Our results suggest that the performance of some plant species in soils with low P availability may not be favored by their association with AMF, but a synergy between AMF and intermediate P concentrations might drive A. elongata’s growth.


Cite This Article

Vázquez-Santos, Y., Martínez-Orea, Y., Álvarez-Sánchez, J., Montaño, N. M., Camargo-Ricalde, S. L. et al. (2021). Interaction of Acaena elongata L. with Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi under Phosphorus Limitation Conditions in a Temperate Forest. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 90(2), 605–619.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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