An extensive area has been buried due to the repeated occurrence of mud flows (lahars) derived from volcanic deposits during the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines. Most of the area was covered with sparse vegetation consisting of only a few gramineous pioneer plants such as Saccharum spontaneum (site SV). However dense vegetation consisting of wild leguminous plants such as Calpogonium mucunoides showed a patch distribution (site DV). In 1999, we investigated the community composition of AMF at these two sites. S. spontaneum at both sites was slightly colonized with AMF while the leguminous plants were highly colonized. Spores of AMF were collected from the rhizosphere of these plants. Eight spore morphotypes were identified; one each for Acaulospora and Entrophospora colombiana, two for Glomus, one for Paraglomus, and three for Scutellospora. Part of the 18S rRNA gene of AMF colonizing the plant roots was amplified with AMF-specific primers, NS31 and AM1, cloned and sequenced. Fifty-three AMF clones were phylogenetically classified into 8 phylotypes as follows: one each for Acaulospora and E. colombiana, five for Glomus, and one for Scutellospora. Both molecular and morphological examinations showed that the diversity of AMF was comparable to that in other temperate ecosystems with abundant vegetation and did not differ significantly between sites SV and DV, regardless of the vegetation cover. Furthermore, S. spontaneum supported diverse AMF species in spite of its scant growth at site SV. E. colombiana was mostly associated with C. mucunoides. Significance of AMF for the primary plant succession in the lahar area was analyzed.
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