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Monitoring of fungal root colonisation, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi diversity and soil microbial processes to assess the success of ecosystem translocation

Zubek, Szymon, Chmolowska, Dominika, Jamrozek, Daria, Ciechanowska, Agata, Nobis, Marcin, Błaszkowski, Janusz, Rożek, Katarzyna, Rutkowska, Joanna
Journal of environmental management 2019 v.246 pp. 538-546
Molinia caerulea, airports, basins, biomass, cell respiration, ecosystems, gardens, habitats, lawns and turf, meadows, microbial communities, monitoring, mycorrhizal fungi, soil, soil respiration, species richness, wetlands
To compensate for an airport expansion, including construction on valuable wet meadows of a Natura 2000 system, 1.3 ha of turf, cut into blocks, were transferred to artificial basins in a habitat garden. To evaluate the impact of translocation on this ecosystem, and thus the success of its preservation, we monitored fungal root colonisation of Molinia caerulea, the diagnostic plant species for wet meadows, along with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) species richness and composition in soils and soil microbial processes for three seasons: prior to the transfer (2013) and the two following years (2014–15). We observed few changes in the fungal colonisation of M. caerulea, suggesting that the fungal associations of this species were unaffected. The number of AMF species declined directly after the translocation; however, in 2015, an increased number of species was recorded. There were no differences in AMF species composition, nor did soil basal respiration rate, substrate-induced respiration (SIR), or substrate-active biomass (Cmic) change over the years. Only metabolic coefficient (qCO2) decreased after the transfer. The small number of effects in fungal root colonisation, AMF diversity, and microbial processes following the translocation of the ecosystem prove its success. This can be attributed to the deep turf translocation that kept the relevant microbial communities almost unaffected.