, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 149–157 | Cite as

Interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and non-host Carex capillacea

  • Haibo Zhang
  • Zefeng Qin
  • Yanan Chu
  • Xiaolin Li
  • Peter Christie
  • Junling Zhang
  • Jingping GaiEmail author
Original Article


A topic of confusion over the interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and plants is the mycorrhizal status of some plant families such as Cyperaceae, which is generally considered to be non-mycorrhizal. Here, we conducted experiments to explore how the abiotic environmental conditions and AM network influence the interactions between AM fungi and Carex capillacea. We grew Carex capillacea alone or together with a mycorrhizal host species Medicago sativa in the presence or absence of AM fungi (soil inoculum from Mount Segrila and Rhizophagus intraradices from the Chinese Bank of the Glomeromycota, BGC). Plants were grown in a growth chamber and at two elevational sites of Mount Segrila, respectively. The results indicate that mycorrhizal host plants ensured the presence of an active AM fungal network whether under growth chamber or alpine conditions. The AM fungal network significantly depressed the growth of C. capillacea, especially when native inocula were used and the plants grew under alpine site conditions, although root colonization of C. capillacea increased in most cases. Moreover, the colonization level of C. capillacea was much higher (≤ 30%) when growing under alpine conditions compared with growth chamber conditions (< 8.5%). Up to 20% root colonization by Rhizophagus intraradices was observed in monocultures under alpine conditions. A significant negative relationship was found between shoot phosphorus concentrations in M. sativa and shoot dry mass of C. capillacea. These results indicate that growing conditions, AM network, and inoculum source are all important factors affecting the susceptibility of C. capillacea to AM fungi, and growing conditions might be a key driver of the interactions between AM fungi and C. capillacea.


AM colonization AM network Cyperaceae Growth reduction Non-host plant species Plant-microbe interactions 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFD0200200/2017YFD0200203) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC, Projects 41877049 and 41271269).

Supplementary material

572_2019_882_MOESM1_ESM.docx (33 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 32 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Soil Pollution Prevention and RemediationBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of Resources and Environmental SciencesChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Plant-soil InteractionsChinese Ministry of EducationBeijingChina

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