Terrestrial plants establish symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) to exchange water and nutrients. However, the extent to which soil biodiversity influences such association remains still unclear. Here, we manipulated the soil microbial diversity using a “dilution-to-extinction” approach in a controlled pot microcosm system and quantified the root length colonization of maize plants by the AMF Rhizophagus clarus. The experiment was performed by manipulating the soil microbiome within a native and foreign soil having distinct physicochemical properties. Overall, our data revealed significant positive correlations between the soil microbial diversity and AMF colonization. Most importantly, this finding opposes the diversity-invasibility hypothesis and highlights for a potential overall helper effect of the soil biodiversity on plant-AMF symbiosis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Soil Science