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Aquatic Biology

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AB - Vol. 14 No. 1 - Feature article
Clones of hybrid Spartina spp. are invading San Francisco Bay.

Eberl R


Mycorrhizal association with native and invasive cordgrass Spartina spp. in San Francisco Bay, ­California


Symbiotic microorganisms can influence species invasions. The introduced halophyte cordgrass Spartina alterniflora has hybridized with the native Spartina foliosa and is causing changes in ecosystem functioning in tidal habitats of San Francisco Bay. Eberl shows for the first time the presence of mycorrhizae in the invasive Spartina spp. hybrid. The introduced S. alterniflora is non-mycorrhizal in its native habitat, whereas the native S. foliosa is mycorrhizal and thus probably contributes the ability to form the mycorrhizal association in the hybrid. Hybrid Spartina produce greater biomass when grown with a commercial mycorrhizal mix in the greenhouse, compared to non-mycorrhizal controls. Therefore, mycorrhizal associations influence the invasion trajectory of hybrid Spartina.


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