Forest microsite effects on community composition of ectomycorrhizal fungi on seedlings of Picea abies and Betula pendula.
ABSTRACT Niche differentiation in soil horizons, host species and natural nutrient gradients contribute to the high diversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi in boreal forests. This study aims at documenting the diversity and community composition of ectomycorrhizal fungi of Norway spruce (Picea abies) and silver birch (Betula pendula) seedlings in five most abundant microsites in three Estonian old-growth forests. Undisturbed forest floor, windthrow mounds and pits harboured more species than brown- and white-rotted wood. Several species of ectomycorrhizal fungi were differentially represented on either hosts, microsites and sites. Generally, the most frequent species in dead wood were also common in forest floor soil. Ordination analyses suggested that decay type determined the composition of EcM fungal community in dead wood. Root connections with in-growing mature tree roots from below affected the occurrence of certain fungal species on seedling roots systems in dead wood. This study demonstrates that ectomycorrhizal fungi differentially establish in certain forest microsites that is attributable to their dispersal and competitive abilities. Elevated microsites, especially decayed wood, act as seed beds for both ectomycorrhizal forest trees and fungi, thus affecting the succession of boreal forest ecosystems.
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ABSTRACT: In order to clarify the functional role of individual ectomycorrhizal (EcM) fungal species in the field, we need to relate their abundance and distribution as mycorrhizas to their abundance and distribution as extramatrical mycelium (EMM). We divided each of four 20 cm x 20 cm x 2 cm slices of pine forest soil into 100 cubes of 2 cm x 2 cm. For each cube, ectomycorrhizas were identified and the presence of EMM of the EcM fungi recorded as ectomycorrhizas was determined by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis of ITS rDNA. Ectomycorrhizas and EMM of seven EcM species were mapped. Spatial segregation of mycorrhizas and EMM was evident and some species produced their EMM in different soil layers from their mycorrhizas. The spatial relationship between mycorrhizas and their EMM generally conformed to their reported exploration types, but EMM of smooth types (e.g. Lactarius rufus) was more frequent than expected. Different EcM fungi foraged at different spatial scales.New Phytologist 02/2006; 170(2):381-90. · 6.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We investigated ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi in forest stands containing both early successional Douglas-fir and late successional western hemlock at two points in the typical stand development by identifying EM fungi from roots of Douglas-fir and western hemlock in mixed stands. In an early seral stage forest, EM roots of western hemlock seedlings and intermingling 40-year-old Douglas-fir were sampled. In a late seral stage forest, EM roots of trees of both species were sampled in a 400-year-old stand. We use molecular approaches to identify the symbionts from field samples in this descriptive study. In the early seral stage study, >95% of the western hemlock root tips by biomass were colonized by fungi also colonizing Douglas-fir roots. This result supports the prediction that western hemlock can associate with fungi in Douglas-fir EM networks. In the same study, fungi specific to Douglas-fir colonized 14% of its EM root tips. In the late seral stage study, 14% of the western hemlock root tips were colonized by fungi also observed in association with Douglas-fir, a result strongly influenced by sampling issues and likely represents a conservative estimate of multiple host fungi in this old growth setting. Fungi specific to Douglas-fir colonized 25% of its root tip biomass in the old growth study, in tight coralloid clusters within five of the 24 soil samples. The trends revealed in this study corroborate earlier studies suggesting a predominance of multiple host fungi in mixed communities of EM plants. The role of host-specific fungi in these stands remains unclear.Mycorrhiza 09/2005; 15(6):393-403. · 2.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We have investigated colonization strategies by comparing the abundance and frequency of ectomycorrhizal fungal species on roots in a mature Pinus muricata forest with those present as resistant propagules colonizing potted seedlings grown in the same soil samples. Thirty-seven fungal species were distinguished by internal transcribed spacer (ITS) restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs); most were identified to species level by sporocarp RFLP matches or to genus/family level by using sequence databases for the mitochondrial and nuclear large-subunit rRNA genes. The below-ground fungal community found in the mature forest contrasted markedly with the resistant propagule community, as only four species were found in both communities. The dominant species in the mature forest were members of the Russulaceae, Thelephorales and Amanitaceae. In contrast, the resistant propagule community was dominated by Rhizopogon species and by species of the Ascomycota. Only one species, Tomentella sublilacina (Thelephorales), was common in both communities. The spatial distribution of mycorrhizae on mature roots and propagules in the soil differed among the dominant species. For example, T. sublilacina mycorrhizae exhibited a unique bias toward the organic horizons, Russula brevipes mycorrhizae were denser and more clumped than those of other species and Cenococcum propagules were localized, whereas R. subcaerulescens propagules were evenly distributed. We suggest that species differences in resource preferences and colonization strategies, such as those documented here, contribute to the maintenance of species richness in the ectomycorrhizal community.Molecular Ecology 12/1999; 8(11):1837-50. · 6.28 Impact Factor