Araucaria angustifolia (Bert.) O. Ktze., a native forest tree from Brazil, is under extinction risk. This tree depends on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi for growth and development, especially in tropical low-P soils but, despite being a conifer, Araucaria does not form ectomycorrhiza, but only the arbuscular endomycorrhiza. This study aimed at surveying data on the spore density and root colonization (CR) by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in Araucaria angustifolia forest ecosystems, in order to discriminate natural, implemented, and anthropic action-impacted ecosystems, by means of Canonical Discriminant Analysis (CDA). Three ecosystems representative of the Campos do Jordão (SP, Brazil) region were selected: 1. a native forest (FN); 2. a replanted Araucaria forest (R); and 3. a replanted Araucaria forest, submitted to accidental fire (RF). Rhizosphere soil and roots were sampled in May and October, 2002, for root colonization, AMF identification, and spores counts. Root percent colonization rates at first collection date were relatively low and did not differ amongst ecosystems. At the second period, FN presented higher colonization than the other two areas, with much higher figures than during the first period, for all areas. Spore density was lower in FN than in the other areas. A total of 26 AMF species were identified. The percent root colonization and spore numbers were inversely related to each other in all ecosystems. CDA indicated that there is spatial distinction among the three ecosystems in regard to the evaluated parameters.
Brazil pine; biodiversity; species richness; reforestation