Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Relaciones pteridofitas tropicales con los hongos micorrícicos


Katie Heard



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Publication Date

December 2006


It is known that pteridophytes have a mutualistic association with mycorrhizal fungi, which play a critical role in the capture of nutrients from the soil, to help with the acquisition of phosphorus and nitrogen, perhaps the most limiting factors for plant growth (Brundett 1983). Few studies have been conducted in the tropics; although there is much descriptive evidence from elsewhere that suggests that mycorrhizal relationships are important (Wagner et al.1983). This study was conducted in the San Luis premontane forest and Monteverde lower montane wet forests in Costa Rica. Twenty-four epiphytic individuals and 20 terrestrial individuals were collected to investigate the frequency of infection. The samples were dyed and examined for the presence or absence of mycorrhizae. Thirty-nine of the 44 individuals were infected. The terrestrial individuals exhibited a greater bias towards vesicles and the epiphytic individuals more prone to hyphal infection. All seven families were infected with mycorrhizae with all ten species having at least two individuals infected. The five individuals without mycorrhizae suggest that pteridophytes are capable of developing and sustaining plant growth without the mutualistic interaction.


Se sabe que las pteridofitas tienen una asociación mutualista con los hongos micorrícicos, que desempeñan un papel crítico en la captura de alimentos nutritivos de la tierra, para ayudar con la adquisición del fósforo y el nitrógeno, quizás los factores más limitantes para el crecimiento de la planta (Brundett 1983). Pocos estudios han sido realizados en los trópicos; sin embargo hay mucha evidencia descriptiva de otras partes que sugiere que las relaciones micorrizas son importantes (Wagner et al. 1983). Este estudio se llevó a cabo en el bosque premontano de San Luis y Monteverde, en los bosques húmedos bajos de montaña en Costa Rica. Veinticuatro individuos de epífitas y 20 individuos terrestres fueron colectados para investigar la frecuencia de la infección.


Mycorrhizal fungi, Pteridophyta, Mutualism (Biology), CIEE Fall 2006

Palabras claves

Hongos micorrizas, Mutualismo (Biología), CIEE Otoño 2006


9 pages

Geographic Location

Monteverde (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute


English; Spanish

Media Type



Digital Only





Tropical pteridophyte relationships with mycorrhizal fungi, December 2006



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