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Dynamics of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in relation to root colonization, spore density, and soil properties among different spreading stages of the exotic plant threeflower beggarweed (Desmodium triflorum) in a Zoysia tenuifolia lawn

  • Xiaoge Han (a1) (a2), Changchao Xu (a3), Yutao Wang (a4), Dan Huang (a1), Qiang Fan (a5), Guorong Xin (a6) and Christoph Müller (a7) (a8)...


Weed invasion is a prevailing problem in modestly managed lawns. Less attention has been given to the exploration of the role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) under different invasion pressures from lawn weeds. We conducted a four-season investigation into a Zoysia tenuifolia Willd. ex Thiele (native turfgrass)–threeflower beggarweed [Desmodium triflorum (L.) DC.] (invasive weed) co-occurring lawn. The root mycorrhizal colonizations of the two plants, the soil AM fungal communities and the spore densities under five different coverage levels of D. triflorum were investigated. Desmodium triflorum showed significantly higher root hyphal and vesicular colonizations than those of Z. tenuifolia, while the root colonizations of both species varied significantly among seasons. The increased coverage of D. triflorum resulted in the following effects: (1) the spore density initially correlated with mycorrhizal colonizations of Z. tenuifolia but gradually correlated with those of D. triflorum. (2) Correlations among soil properties, spore densities, and mycorrhizal colonizations were more pronounced in the higher coverage levels. (3) Soil AMF community compositions and relative abundances of AMF operational taxonomic units changed markedly in response to the increased invasion pressure. The results provide strong evidence that D. triflorum possessed a more intense AMF infection than Z. tenuifolia, thus giving rise to the altered host contributions to sporulation, soil AMF communities, relations of soil properties, spore densities, and root colonizations of the two plants, all of which are pivotal for the successful invasion of D. triflorum in lawns.

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      Dynamics of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in relation to root colonization, spore density, and soil properties among different spreading stages of the exotic plant threeflower beggarweed (Desmodium triflorum) in a Zoysia tenuifolia lawn
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      Dynamics of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in relation to root colonization, spore density, and soil properties among different spreading stages of the exotic plant threeflower beggarweed (Desmodium triflorum) in a Zoysia tenuifolia lawn
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      Dynamics of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in relation to root colonization, spore density, and soil properties among different spreading stages of the exotic plant threeflower beggarweed (Desmodium triflorum) in a Zoysia tenuifolia lawn
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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the same Creative Commons licence is included and the original work is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Guorong Xin, Sun Yat-sen University, School of Life Sciences, School of Agriculture, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Resources, 135 Xingang West Road, Guangzhou 510275, PR China. Email:


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Dynamics of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in relation to root colonization, spore density, and soil properties among different spreading stages of the exotic plant threeflower beggarweed (Desmodium triflorum) in a Zoysia tenuifolia lawn

  • Xiaoge Han (a1) (a2), Changchao Xu (a3), Yutao Wang (a4), Dan Huang (a1), Qiang Fan (a5), Guorong Xin (a6) and Christoph Müller (a7) (a8)...


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