Filamentous and phosphate solubilizing fungi relationships with some edaphic parameters and coffee plantations management. Soil properties and the environment have multiple outcomes on fungal communities. Although, the interaction effects between management intensity, pH, available phosphorus, organic carbon, soil texture and different fractions of water stable macro-aggregates on the communities of microscopic filamentous fungi (MFF), iron phosphate solubilizing fungi (PSF-Fe), and iron and calcium phosphate solubilizing fungi (PSF-(Fe+Ca)), have been previously evaluated in field conditions, this has never been performed in terms of their combined effects, neither with phosphate solubilizing fungi. To assess this, we collected 40 composite soil samples from eight Mexican and Colombian coffee plantations, with different management intensities and physico-chemical edaphic parameters, during 2008-2009. We isolated different communities of MFF, PSFFe and PSF-(Fe+Ca), by wet sieving and soil particles culture in Potato-Dextrose-Agar from soil samples, and we classified isolates in terms of their phosphate solubilizing ability. Following the principal component analysis results, we decided to analyze fungal communities and abiotic factors interactions for each country separately. Structural Equation Models revealed that organic carbon was positively associated to MFF richness and number of isolates (λ>0.58), but its relationship with PSF-Fe and PSF-(Fe+Ca) were variable; while the available phosphorus, pH and water stable macro-aggregate fractions did not show a clear pattern. Management intensity was negatively related to PSF-Fe (λ≤-0.21) morphotype richness and the number of isolates in Colombian coffee plantations. We found that the relationships of clay and organic carbon content, and available phosphorus and soil pH, with the species richness and number of isolates of MFF, PSF-Fe and PSF-(Fe+Ca) were highly variable; this made impossible to generalize the responses between saprotrophic fungal groups and geographic zones. The management intensity was not related to species richness and number of isolates of MFF in any coffee areas, while for PSF the relationship could not be defined. The different water stable macro-aggregates fractions did not show a defined pattern in relation to the species richness and the number of isolates of saprophytic and phosphate solubilizing fungi (PSF). This study highlights the need to take into account edaphic and geographic context in order to reach a better understanding of the intensity management effects on MFF and PSF function in agroecosystems.
Keywords: tricalcium phosphate, iron phosphate, water-stable aggregates, soil, fungal richness, fungal abundance, structural equation models.