Flooding-tolerant legume symbioses from the Brazilian Pantanal


Author for correspondence: Euan K. James Tel: +44 1382344741 Fax: +44 1382345893 Email:e.k.james@dundee.ac.uk


  •  Nodulated legumes in some of the flooded and seasonally flooded areas of the Pantanal Mato-Grossense wetlands in Brazil are described here.
  •  In the permanently flooded lakes (baias) of the Caracara national park Discolobium pulchellum, Mimosa pellita, Sesbania exasperata and Vigna lasiocarpa (syn. Phaseolus pilosus) were the most abundant, whereas close to Corumbá, at the edges of the river Paraguai, Neptunia spp. were also common. Adaptations that allow these legumes to fix N2 in a flooded environment included a floating growth habit, aerenchyma and nodulated adventitious roots.
  •  By contrast, Aeschynomene spp. (A. ciliata, A. denticulata, A. fluminensis, and A. sensitiva) were the dominant nodulated legumes in the seasonally flooded pastures of Nhumirim.
  •  Stem-nodulation was commonly observed, particularly on seasonally flooded Aeschynomene and seasonal/permanently flooded Discolobium spp., but also, in a modified form, on floating stems of V. lasiocarpa. The structures of stem and/or root nodules on Aeschynomene spp., Discolobium leptophyllum and V. lasiocarpa are described in detail, and nodulation by D. leptophyllum and Neptunia pubescens is reported for the first time.