Simulated fire reduces the density of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi at the soil surface – Publication

Abstract of a publication based on research funded at least in part by the Australian Flora Foundation

Pattinson, G. S., Hammill, K. A., Sutton, B. G., and McGee, P. A.
School of Biological Sciences A12, University of Sydney NSW 2006, Australia.
Mycological Research. 1999. 103: 4, 491-496
CAB Abstract 991002139

In experimental microcosms, 3 Glomus spp. (2 Glomus spp. and 1 G. macrocarpum) were subjected to heating to over 200 deg C at the soil surface and 70 deg at 5 cm to determine the effect of fire on survival of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Heating reduced the quantity of propagules surviving at the soil surface and the effect declined with depth. While all propagules are likely to be affected by heat, it is argued that the hyphal network is most severely disturbed and probably responsible for declines in density of fungi observed in the field following fire.