Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

Krish Jayachandran

First Advisor's Committee Title

Co-Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Eric von Wettberg

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Co-Committee Chair

Third Advisor's Name

Suzanne Koptur


Fungi, Symbiosis, Pine Rockland, Legume, Salinity, Mycorrhiza

Date of Defense



This study addressed the effects of salinity and pot size on the interaction between leguminous plant hosts and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in four pine rockland soils using a shade house trap-plant experiment. Little is known about the belowground diversity of pine rocklands and the interactions between aboveground and belowground biota – an increased understanding of these interactions could lead to improved land management decisions, conservation and restoration efforts. Following twelve weeks of growth, plants were measured for root and shoot dry biomass and percent colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Overall, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi had positive fitness effects on the four legume species (Cajanus cajan, Chamaecrista fasciculata, Tephrosia angustissima and Abrus precatorius), improving their growth rate, shoot and root biomass; pot size influenced plant-fungal interactions; and percent colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi was influenced by soil type as well as salinity.





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