Fungal and mycorrhizal succession in the Mount St. Helens devastation area

Samples of tephra deposits from the May 1980 eruption showed no mycorrhizal fungi in 1980 to 1985. Samples of buried soils and mudflow soil, however, showed that mycorrhizal fungi did survive the volcanic disturbance. Plant succession patterns in areas of tephra deposits reflect the distribution of mycorrhizae in that plants that resprouted or germinated from old soils where mycorrhizal fungi were present were much more successful than seedlings that germinated in the tephra that lacked these fungi. Mudflow soils and old soils that were exposed as when tephra eroded were initially much more conducive to revegetation at least partly because these soils contained the mycorrhizal fungi.

 

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