Roots of nine of the 12 vascular plant species present on sub-Antarctic Heard Island were examined for mycorrhizae. All species examined had some type of mycorrhization with most possessing associations with vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae or dark septate mycorrhizae. The degree of mycorrhization varied considerably across sites. Sampled plants were growing on either morainic or beach substrates with some areas exposed only in the last century. As mycorrhizae are known to play an important role in the nutrient uptake by host-plants, these results support the idea that mycorrhizae can influence the capacities of plants to colonize in cold and low-nutrient environments such as sub-Antarctic glacier forelands. Comparisons with data from other sub-Antarctic islands are made.
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