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Are VA Mycorrhizae Required for Sand Dune Stabilization?

R. E. Koske and W. R. Polson
BioScience
Vol. 34, No. 7 (Jul. - Aug., 1984), pp. 420-424
DOI: 10.2307/1309630
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1309630
Page Count: 5
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Are VA Mycorrhizae Required for Sand Dune Stabilization?
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Abstract

Recent research suggests that vesicular-arbuscular (VA) mycorrhizae play a key role in the establishment, survival, and growth of sand dune-colonizing plant species. Vigorous plant growth in both maritime and lacustrine dunes is routinely associated with high activity of VAM fungi in the root zone. Preliminary greenhouse studies demonstrated the dependence of American beachgrass plants on the establishment of mycorrhizae in dune soil. These studies and field observations worldwide suggest that a minimal amount of VA fungal inoculum in dune soils is necessary for significant plant growth and, thus, dune stabilization. VA fungi contribute to dune stabilization indirectly, by improving the phosphate nutrition of plants, and directly, by forming aggregates of sand grains that resist movement more than single sand grains.

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