Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The foliar endophytic fungal community composition in Cirsium arvense is affected by mycorrhizal colonization and soil nutrient content.

Abstract

Foliar fungal endophytes are ubiquitous, but understudied symbionts of most plant species; relatively little is known about the factors affecting their occurrence, diversity and abundance. We tested the effects of soil nutrient content and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) colonization on the occurrence of foliar endophytic fungi in Cirsium arvense in two field studies. In the first study, we assessed relationships between soil moisture, organic matter, carbon and nitrogen content and plant water, nitrogen and carbon content and AM colonization and the occurrence of foliar endophytic fungal species. In the second study, we manipulated soil nutrient content and AM colonization of potted seedlings and identified differences in endophytic fungal species composition of the leaves and stems. The results reveal that endophytes can occur either more or less frequently, depending on soil nutrient and plant water content and AM colonization. We propose that these patterns were the result of differences in fungal growth responses to nutrient availability in the leaves, which can be affected by resources obtained from the soil or symbiotic fungi in the roots.