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Mycorrhizal preference promotes habitat invasion by a native Australian orchid: Microtis media

Citation

De Long, JR and Swarts, ND and Dixon, KW and Egerton-Warburton, LM, Mycorrhizal preference promotes habitat invasion by a native Australian orchid: Microtis media, Annals of Botany, 111, (3) pp. 409-418. ISSN 0305-7364 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 The Authors.

DOI: doi:10.1093/aob/mcs294

Abstract

Background and Aims: Mycorrhizal specialization has been shown to limit recruitment capacity in orchids, but an increasing number of orchids are being documented as invasive or weed-like. The reasons for this proliferation were examined by investigating mycorrhizal fungi and edaphic correlates of Microtis media, an Australian terrestrial orchid that is an aggressive ecosystem and horticultural weed.

Methods: Molecular identification of fungi cultivated from M. media pelotons, symbiotic in vitro M. media seed germination assays, ex situ fungal baiting of M. media and co-occurring orchid taxa (Caladenia arenicola, Pterostylis sanguinea and Diuris magnifica) and soil physical and chemical analyses were undertaken.

Key Results: It was found that: (1) M. media associates with a broad taxonomic spectrum of mycobionts including Piriformospora indica, Sebacina vermifera, Tulasnella calospora and Ceratobasidium sp.; (2) germination efficacy of mycorrhizal isolates was greater for fungi isolated from plants in disturbed than in natural habitats; (3) a higher percentage of M. media seeds germinate than D. magnifica, P. sanguinea or C. arenicola seeds when incubated with soil from M. media roots; and (4) M. media-mycorrhizal fungal associations show an unusual breadth of habitat tolerance, especially for soil phosphorus (P) fertility.

Conclusions: The findings in M. media support the idea that invasive terrestrial orchids may associate with a diversity of fungi that are widespread and common, enhance seed germination in the host plant but not co-occurring orchid species and tolerate a range of habitats. These traits may provide the weedy orchid with a competitive advantage over co-occurring orchid species. If so, invasive orchids are likely to become more broadly distributed and increasingly colonize novel habitats.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:terrestrial orchid, mycorrhizal fungi, disturbed habitats, south-western Australia, invasive species, Microtis media
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Microbiology
Research Field:Mycology
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Horticultural Crops
Objective Field:Ornamentals, Natives, Flowers and Nursery Plants
Author:Swarts, ND (Dr Nigel Swarts)
ID Code:84226
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:TIA - Research Institute
Deposited On:2013-04-30
Last Modified:2014-04-07
Downloads:0

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