Plant and Soil

, Volume 330, Issue 1–2, pp 185–193 | Cite as

How mycorrhizal associations and plant density influence intra- and inter-specific competition in two tropical tree species: Cabralea canjerana (Vell.) Mart. and Lafoensia pacari A.St.-Hil.

  • Aline Danieli-Silva
  • Alexandre Uhlmann
  • José Vicente-Silva
  • Sidney Luiz Stürmer
Regular Article


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) associations benefit host plants due to increased ability to obtain resources and hence may influence competitive interactions. Here we experimentally examine growth in Cabralea canjerana and Lafoensia pacari at different densities and with and without AMF. In the density treatment pots had either six or 12 individuals. Half of each treatment was innoculated with AMF and the other half was not. The proportion of each species in each pot was also varied. The AMF did not apparently influence interspecific competitive interactions because growth was similar in both treatments. However, intra-specific competition was very strong in C. canjerana while more moderate in L. pacari and both were influenced by the presence of the AMF. The AMF—Cabralea canjerana interaction was parasitic, while AMF—L. pacari interactions were mutualistic. Thus, dependence upon AMF and intraspecific interactions that result as a consequence of that dependence varies among species and may be an important influence in community structure.


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Competition Parasitism Relative yields Replacement series 



arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi


analysis of variance



C. canjerana

Cabralea canjerana


development (biomass) of species i when grown in monoculture


development (biomass) of species i when grown in mixture with species j


development (biomass) of species j when grown in mixture with species i


development (biomass) of species j when grown in monoculture


Universidade Regional de Blumenau


hydrogen peroxide


Hydrochloric acid


potassium hydroxide

L. pacari

Lafoensia pacari


mycorrhizal plants


non-mycorrhizal plants




relative yields


total density



We thank the Universidade Regional de Blumenau (FURB) for its support, as well as its Botany, Biotechnology, Immunology and Zoology laboratories and the Chemistry Department, for their support and use of their facilities. Thanks to professors Geraldo Moretto and Carlos Efrain for their help with statistics. Thanks to the Tutorial Education Program (PET/Biologia) for the financial support and the incentive for research that it enabled. James J. Roper translated this text from the original Portuguese.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aline Danieli-Silva
    • 1
  • Alexandre Uhlmann
    • 2
  • José Vicente-Silva
    • 3
  • Sidney Luiz Stürmer
    • 4
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-graduação em Ecologia e ConservaçãoUniversidade Federal do ParanáCuritibaBrazil
  2. 2.Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária—EMBRAPA AmapáMacapáBrazil
  3. 3.Programa de Pós-graduação em EcologiaUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  4. 4.Departamento de Ciências NaturaisUniversidade Regional de BlumenauBlumenauBrazil

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