Multiscale patterns of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal abundance and diversity in semiarid shrublands

V. Bala Chaudhary, Thomas E. O'Dell, Matthias C. Rillig, Nancy C. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The distribution of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal abundance and diversity across multiple scales, and the factors that drive spatial patterns, remains largely unknown in arid ecosystems. We examined multiple measures of AM fungal abundance, as well as spore diversity and community composition, at microsite (1m2), local (1ha), and regional (5000ha) scales in semiarid shrublands. At the microsite scale, hyphae, spores, and glomalin-related soil protein were more abundant underneath shrub canopies, but unvegetated shrub interspaces had similar amounts of viable propagules, spore diversity, and spore community composition compared to canopies. Significant local and regional scale variation in abundance, diversity, and community composition were correlated with variation in soil organic matter, climate, and soil phosphorus concentration. We observed high alpha, beta, and gamma spore diversity and significant spatial autocorrelation of communities. This study demonstrates how multiple indicators of Glomeromycotan abundance and diversity vary differentially in natural systems and how soil and climate factors are important drivers of spatial patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-43
Number of pages12
JournalFungal Ecology
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 2014


  • Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
  • Arid ecosystems
  • Artemisia
  • Community ecology
  • Conservation
  • Distribution
  • Diversity
  • Glomeromycota
  • Scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Plant Science


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