Agricultural management affects communities of culturable root-endophytic fungi in temperate grasslands

E. M. Wilberforce, Lynne Boddy, R. Griffiths, Gareth W. Griffith

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41 Citations (SciVal)


Three grassland sites of similar physical characteristics but differing management histories were chosen to test the hypothesis that agricultural disturbance has a deleterious effect on the diversity of culturable root-endophytic fungi and favours potentially pathogenic species. Species abundance data were collected for fungi isolated from surface sterilised root samples. Brillouin index of diversity, Twinspan and detrended correspondence analysis were applied to the community data. Quantitative ordination separated the samples by site showing that the communities differed in fields of contrasting management and this was supported by data from a microcosm experiment. Species presence and absence appeared to be affected seasonally; site differences were manifested in relative abundance. Diversity did not appear to vary by site, but a methodological explanation for this is proposed. Sterile dark septate endophytes were shown to be among the most abundant groups at all sites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1143-1154
Number of pages12
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Issue number8
Early online date03 Jun 2003
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2003


  • fungal ecology
  • dark septate endophytes
  • Fusarium
  • agricultural disturbance
  • diversity index
  • temperature grasslands
  • root-colonising fungi


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