Mycorrhizae Quantification in Sapelo Island Sand Dunes

  • Alexandra Rubin University of Florida
  • Christine Angelini
Keywords: Mycorrhizae, arbuscules, hyphae, vesicles


Mycorrhizae have played a vital role in plant growth for over millions of years. This fungus forms a symbiotic relationship with the plant roots that stimulate plant growth and root development. This symbiotic relationship suffers in ecosystems, which have been disturbed by human activity resulting in a decline of mycorrhizae. Many journals have been published in accordance to mycorrhizae research, but a knowledge gap has been formed due to the lack of publishing in the 21st century. In the present article, the researcher develop an approach to further understand the concentration of mycorrhizae throughout a sand dune and what effect that has on the community. The motivation behind this research is to gain a better understanding of mycorrhizae’s relative importance in coastal dune systems, especially their role in helping these systems recover from disturbances, such as hurricanes. This review studies closely the quantification of mycorrhizal infection in Sea Oat (Uniola paniculate) and Spartina alterniflora (cord grass) plants found in sand dunes on Sapelo Island, Georgia. This study focuses on two types of plants, with 30 plots from three different sections of the sand dune; beachfront, midlevel, and upper level in the presence of wrack. All roots went through a staining process in the lab in order to visually quantify amounts of vesicles, arbuscules and hyphae. From laboratory observation it is evident there are high levels of infection throughout the plots. Thus, this particular sand dune has relatively healthy plants with high nutrient and water availability despite being exposed to hurricanes.