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Sampson, Kendra [1], Van Proosdij, Danika [2], Lundholm, Jeremy [1], Walker, Allison [3].

Evaluating salt marsh rhizosphere carbon stocks and arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization across a chronosequence in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Salt marshes are essential ecosystems that stabilize coastlines while providing habitat for many invertebrates, juvenile fishes, and birds. Unfortunately, due to the development of agriculture, recreational land, commercial land, and embanking/dyking and other causes, salt marshes are declining worldwide. Salt marshes can also accumulate and store large amounts of carbon. Recent studies in our lab found beneficial arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) form associations with salt marsh plant roots. We are investigating the role of AMF in salt marsh carbon sequestration, examining sediment and dominant plants from low to upper high marsh elevations at restored, reference, and dykeland sites fringing the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia. We are also exploring relationships of rhizosphere nitrogen and phosphorus with AMF colonization. AMF colonization rates and organic carbon densities were highly variable among sites and vegetation types. We found high AMF colonization rates (94%) in and sediment organic carbon densities (>0.045 g/cm3) near Spartina pectinata roots at older restoration and reference sites. Fungal influence on carbon storage as well as the importance of carbon sequestration in salt marshes are novel areas of research in Atlantic Canada. Our data will increase our knowledge of the functional contributions of AMF to salt marsh restoration methods and carbon sequestration in these threatened habitats.

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1 - Saint Mary's University, Department of Biology, Halifax, NS, Canada
2 - Saint Mary's University, Department of Geography, Halifax, NS, Canada
3 - Department of Biology, Acadia University


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: MY5, Mycology: Systematics, Biodiversity, and Evolution
Location: /
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 4:30 PM(EDT)
Number: MY5007
Abstract ID:1323
Candidate for Awards:MSA Best Oral Presentation Award by a Graduate Student

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