Plants interact with beneficial microbes living in their rhizosphere, promoting their growth and development. In arid ecosystems, specific plant-associated microbes grant plants access to nutrients that would otherwise be inaccessible. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are probably one of the better known belowground functional networks with plants. AMF plays a crucial role in plant performance and consequently in ecosystem functioning. AMF activities also determine the bio-availability of nutrients and therefore soil fertility. The main objective of the present study was to evaluate the plant-AMF interactions on soil functions under arid ecosystem in Tunisia. AMF colonization was evaluated by visual observation of AMF in fine roots of Astragalus corrugatus and Lotus creticus on Bou-Hedma National Park in Tunisia. Mycorrhizal colonization varied between plants, and the spore number was significantly different across rhizosphere soils. Statistical analysis showed a clearly positive correlation between the number of spores and plant-mycorrhizal intensity. For microbiological proprieties, our results showed that mycorrhizal plants improved significantly the different microbiological parameters. The results of the present study specified the association plant-AMF and highlight AMF importance as a tailored mechanism of plant adaptation to arid ecosystems.
Part of the book: Natural Resources Management and Biological Sciences