Diversity and colonization of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the tree fern Alsophila firma in rainy and dry season
We evaluate the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) community as measured by spores in different coffee production systems (at the depth of 0–15 cm). In addition, we analyze the similarities between the AMF communities in coffee production systems and those that occur in a tropical montane cloud forest patch in order to evaluate the capacity of coffee production systems to preserve the native AMF community. We carried out four samplings in five coffee production systems representative of a vegetation structure gradient, and in a forest. From 120 soil samples, 33 morphospecies were detected. In all the sites, the dominant morphospecies were Glomus clarum and Glomus sp. 3. We found no significant difference in AMF spore richness between sites. Diversity was similar in most of the coffee production systems. Significant differences were only detected in spore abundance; during the dry season the forest, shaded traditional rustic system and shaded simple system presented the highest spore abundance. With the exception of one species exclusive to the forest, the coffee production systems all share the same AMF species as the forest. The coffee production systems with the greatest similarity to cloud forest were the shaded traditional rustic system and the shaded simple system. It is suggested that control of weeds and fertilization could be important factors influencing the composition and abundance of AMF spores in coffee production systems.