Taxonomic and ecological patterns in root traits of Carex (Cyperaceae)
Root systems of the herbaceous species Polygonum viviparum and Kobresia bellardii were excavated from an alpine site in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado, and processed for microscopic examination. Several ectomycorrhizal morphotypes were present on root systems of both species;K. bellardii often had complex clusters of mycorrhizal roots present. A mantle and Hartig net were present on all mycorrhizal root tips processed. The Hartig net was confined to the epidermis, and the parenchyma cells of this layer were radially elongated, vacuolated and contained densely staining inclusions. Intracellular hyphae and structures typical for vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizas were never observed. Both herbaceous species, therefore, had ectomycorrhizal associations comparable to those described for woody angiosperm species.