Science Journal of Microbiology

June 2015, Volume 2015, ISSN: 2276-626X

Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research Article


Occurrence and Biodiversity of Arbuscular Mycorrhizae Fungi Associated with Indigenous Trees in Eastern Mau Forest, Kenya

P.C. Sitieneia, I.N. Wagaraa, S.T. Kariukia, J.M. Jefwab,c and E.M Kibirod

aDepartment of Biological Sciences, Egerton University, P.O Box 536-20115, Egerton, Kenya
bTropical Soil Biology and Fertility , P.O Box 30777, Nairobi, Kenya
cBotany Department,The National Museums of Kenya, P.O Box 45166, Nairobi, Kenya
dDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Eldoret P.O Box 1125-30100, Eldoret, Kenya

Accepted on April 26, 2015; Available Online 3 June, 2015

doi: 10.7237/sjmb/125


The Mau Forest Complex in Kenya is composed of a number of indigenous tree species. Currently, indigenous trees are declining at an alarming rate in this ecosystem. Though there have been efforts to solve problems associated with the use of indigenous trees in the reforestation activities, however information on the mycorrhizal symbiosis is very limitted. The colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal spore abundance and community were investigated in indigenous montane vegetation of the Eastern Mau Forest Complex. Spores from the rhizosphere soil samples of selected indigenous trees were isolated through the wet-sieving method. Microscopic analysis of the mycorrhizal status revealed that all the 10 tree sp were colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The mycorrhizal status of Podocarpus falcatus, Podocarpus latifolius, Olea capensis, Olea europaea subsp. africana, Prunus Africana, Hagenia abyssinica, Juniperus procera,Dombeya torrida, Maytenus senegalensis and Rapanea Melanophloe osare reported for the first time from this forest ecosystem. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi spores were obtained from all rhizosphere soil samples, where low density of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungis pores ranging from 2 to 70 spores per 20g was generally observed. A total of thirteen arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal species belonging to five genera were recorded, five species of of which belonged to the genus Scutellospora, three to Glomus, two to Acaulospora and Dentiscutataand one to Racocetra. The results established that arbuscular mycorrhizae fungi are a common and important component in this indigenous vegetation type; suggesting that these fungi have important influence on plant communities of this ecosystem. Therefore, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi should receive special attention in indigenous tree seedling production and restoration activities of the forest ecosystem.

Keyword:Arbuscular Mycorrhizae Fungi; Species Richness; Spore Density; Relative Abundance; Mau Forest Complex