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Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi communities in a coral cay system (Morrocoy, Venezuela) and their relationships with environmental variables

Alguacil, M.M., Torrecillas, E., Lozano, Z., Roldán, A.
The Science of the total environment 2015 v.505 pp. 805-813
Coccoloba uvifera, bioactive properties, biogeography, canopy, carbohydrate content, coasts, community structure, corals, correspondence analysis, ecosystems, environmental factors, genes, mycorrhizal fungi, national parks, rain, ribosomal DNA, soil properties, soil sampling, Venezuela
Knowledge of the natural diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and understanding of their biogeographical patterns and what drive them might help to the maintenance and preservation of ecosystems under a changing environment. The objective of this study was to evaluate the contribution of different environmental factors to the determination of the composition of AMF assemblages in representative sites within the Morrocoy National Park (Venezuela). The community structure of the AMF under the canopy of Coccoloba uvifera was investigated in four cays (Borracho, Muerto, Peraza, and Paiclás) and one mainland location (Las Luisas). Based on partial sequences of the nuclear small subunit ribosomal DNA gene, the AM fungi in soil samples were divided into 31 operational taxonomic units, grouped in eight families. The canonical correspondence analysis showed that environmental factors related to insularity (the mean annual rainfall, the distance to the mainland coast, and the cay land area) and a soil property related to biological activity (the total carbohydrate content) were significantly related to the distribution of the AMF communities.