The northward shifting neophyte Tragopogon dubius is just as effective in forming mycorrhizal associations as the native T. pratensis

Roy H.A. van Grunsven, Tri-Wira Yuwati, George A. Kowalchuk, Wim H. van der Putten, Elmar M. Veenendaal

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Background: As a consequence of climate warming, many organisms are shifting their range towards higher latitudes and altitudes. As not all do so at the same speed, this may disrupt biotic interaction. Release from natural enemies through range expansion can result in invasiveness, whereas loss of mutualists can reduce plant vigour and fitness. One of the most important groups of plant symbiotic mutualists is the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF).Aims: We used greenhouse experiments to test whether Tragopogon dubius, a species that has recently expanded its range northward and colonised the Netherlands, is able to associate with the same AMF as the native congener T. pratensis.Methods: In soils collected from four locations in the new range of T. dubius we compared the density of infective AMF propagules associating with both plant species, as well as AMF colonisation of the roots. The AMF community structure in the roots of these species was also analysed using polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE).Results: Tragopogon dubius and T. pratensis did not differ in any of these characteristics.Conclusions: We therefore conclude that the range-shifting T. dubius is as effective in the formation of mycorrhiza as the native congener.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-539
Number of pages7
JournalPlant Ecology & Diversity
Issue number4
Early online date16 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014



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