Mycorrhizal status of plants in two successional stages on spoil heaps from fireloam mining in Lower Silesia (SW Poland)

Dorota Kasowska


The mycorrhizal status of two plant communities representing an initial stage (1-2 year-old) and a 8-9-year-old stage of succession on spoil heaps from fireloam mining in Lower Silesia, Poland, was determined. In the initial stage, the mycorrhizal structures were not observed in 39% of the investigated species; they were members of the Polygonaceae, Chenopodiaceae and Poaceae families. The relative cover of non-mycorrhizal plants exceeded 50% and the major role was played by the Polygonum aviculare population, which predominated the whole community. Mycorrhizal species (arbuscular mycorrhizae) contributed to 61 % of the composition of the initial phyto-coenosis. The most numerous taxa were those with 20-40% of the root length colonized, with a small number of arbuscules (0.2-3.1% of the root length containig arbuscules) and no vesicles. In the advanced stage of succession, mycorrhizal plants definitely dominated and the major role was played by the Tussilago farfara population. Compared with the initial stage, the later one also harboured more plants with mycorrhizas occupied >40% of the root length, as well as containing numerous arbuscules (>20% of the root length) and vesicles. The non-mycorrhizal species, i.e., Equisetum arvense and Poa compressa, represented 11 % o': the community composition and their relative cover amounted to 3%. Despite the relatively frequent occurrence of the arbuscular mycorrhizae in the initial stage of succession, the qualitative properties of the colonization indicated a low effectiveness of symbiosis. This could be caused by the lack of adaptation of the fungal symbiont to the edaphic conditions which were changed after disturbance.


arbuscular mycorrhiza; mycorrhizal colonization; succession; mine spoil

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Journal ISSN:
  • 2083-9480 (online)
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