Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community in the topsoil of a subtropical landfill restored after 18 years

Xun Wen Chen, James Tsz Fung Wong, Zhan Ting Chen, Anna Oi Wah LEUNG, Charles Wang Wai Ng, Ming Hung WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Restoration of disturbed habitats (e.g., landfills and mine tailings) is important to recover ecosystem services. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal community is an important indicator of ecological performance of ecosystems. Rhizospheric soils were collected in two sites (A1 and A2) within the restored area of a landfill (18 yrs after restoration), and two sites (B and C, serving as control) in the adjacent natural area. Soil properties were analysed. AM fungal communities in soils were analysed by sequencing 18S small subunit rRNA gene. Results showed that genera Glomus (the most abundant, relative abundance: 10–24%), Paraglomus and Rhizophagus were commonly found at all sites. Acaulospora and Redeckera were found exclusively at natural sites, while Scutellospora only at the restored site. On average, AM fungal species richness was lower (87 operational taxonomy units, OTUs), while diversity was higher (Shannon index 3.2) in restored site, compared with control (107 OTUs, Shannon index 2.8). The structure of the AM fungal communities was influenced by soil nitrogen and cation exchange capacity. The restored sites possessed a more phylogenetically heterogeneous fungal community than that in natural sites. AM fungal community at restored sites clearly deviated from that at natural sites, indicating that current restoration practice is certainly inadequate. The trend of ecological succession could be significantly influenced by rehabilitation methods, such as adjustment of initial soil properties and selection of plant species. This study highlights the necessity of assessing AM fungal community during ecological restoration for sustainable ecosystem, in addition to plant and bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

User-Defined Keywords

  • Ecological restoration
  • Fungal community
  • Landfill
  • Mycorrhiza
  • Soil properties


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