Ph.D. by Catarina Melo in Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity and composition in pastures of Azores

Catarina Melo got her Ph.D. “Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity and composition in pastures of Azores: assessing the impact of management practices” by the University of Coimbra. 

She concluded that: either AMF spore diversity or AMF diversity on H. lanatus root were independent of land use intensity; but in the intensive management there was a trend to an increased incidence of certain AMF, especially belonging to Glomus spp., indicating a potentially severe loss of ecosystems functions under this land use type; colonisation of different AMF structures was higher in semi-natural land use and showed a marked seasonal pattern, dependent of plant phenology and metabolic pathway and climatic conditions; inoculation with indigenous AMF significantly increased plant productivity and tolerance to root-knot M. incognita, but degree of AMF benefit to a host plant varies in function to plant species. Thus, AMF may play an important role in ecosystems functioning, since their appropriate management can reduce the use of chemical and energy in agriculture and consequently lead to a more economical and sustainable production systems