Glomus intraradices is abundantly found in the La Crosse area. Many of the common organisms that this arbuscualar mycorrhizal fungi is associated with are the common fern, the maple tree, and the pine tree.

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), including Glomus intraradices, are also found in most soils all over the world. They are mutualistic symbionts with almost every known land plant species from blueberries to pineapples. It is known that metal concentrations can inhibit spore production in different species of AMF. In a study by Pawlowska and Charvat (2004), Glomus intraradices was compared to Glomus etunicatum in survival fitness in soil with high concentrations of either lead, zinc, or Cadmium. G. intraradices was able to survive successfully in higher concentrations than G. etunicatum but still could not function properly. One of the study’s conclusions was that different species of Glomus had different sensitivities to metal pollutants but most species can detect contaminated soil and avoid growing further into the soil (Pawlowska and Charvat 2004).

Many other contaminants can affect fungi in a negative way.



This picture from the Norwegian Environment Agency website, shows soil contaminated with creosote which is a chemical by product of the distillation of tar. This chemical can kill many of the fungi hyphae in the soil resulting the death of many plants (Environment 2013).




Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi can be negatively affected by high metal concentrations but can increase the biomass of plants in soil contaminated by other metals such as arsenic. In one study, a verity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were planted with P. vittata, an arsenic hyperaccumulator, in different concentrations of arsenic contaminated soil. A hyperaccumulator plant can live in contaminated soil by absorbing the metals in the plants roots and storing them in its tissues (Rascio and Navari-Izzo 2011). It was found in the control, that Glomus intraradices increased biomass of the shoot and root by 23.3% and 16.5% respectively. When the arsenic concentration was increased, the percentages of biomass increased in the shoot to 128% and in the root to 32.1% (Leung 2013). This means that the Glomus intraradices helped P. vittata gain biomass in the root and stem when in the presence of high arsenic concentrations.

In another study, it was found that AMF, including Glomus intraradices, colonization was inhibited by certain types of organic fertilizers. Blood meal and hydrolyzed fish fertilizer were added to pots that contained new seedlings and Glomus intraradices. The addition of these organic fertilizers increased the nitrogen concentration of the soil which is good for the plants, but resulted in a low percentage of root colonization by the AMF. The roots that were not colonized were not able to grow as long as the roots that were colonized (Douds et al. 2013). One possible explanation for this could be that the plant refused the AMF because it was getting adequate nutrients or the AMF could have been affected in a way that made it less likely to colonize the new seedlings.



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