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Forskningsartikel2014Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Dosage and duration effects of nitrogen additions on ectomycorrhizal sporocarp production and functioning: an example from two N-limited boreal forests

Hasselquist, Niles; Högberg, Peter


1 Although it is well known that nitrogen (N) additions strongly affect ecto-mycorrhizal (EM) fungal community composition, less is known about how different N application rates and duration of N additions affect the functional role EM fungi play in the forest N cycle.2 We measured EM sporocarp abundance and species richness as well as determined the delta N-15 in EM sporocarps and tree foliage in two Pinus sylvestris forests characterized by short-and long-term N addition histories and multiple N addition treatments. After 20 and 39 years of N additions, two of the long-term N addition treatments were terminated, thereby providing a unique opportunity to examine the temporal recovery of EM sporocarps after cessation of high N loading.3 In general, increasing N availability significantly reduced EM sporocarp production, species richness, and the amount of N retained in EM sporocarps. However, these general responses were strongly dependent on the application rate and duration of N additions. The annual addition of 20 kg.N.ha(-1) for the past 6 years resulted in a slight increase in the production and retention of N in EM sporocarps, whereas the addition of 100 kg.N.ha(-1).yr(-1) during the same period nearly eliminated EM sporocarps. In contrast, long-term additions of N at rates of ca. 35 or 70 kg.N.ha(-1).yr(-1) for the past 40 years did not eliminate tree carbon allocation to EM sporocarps, although there was a decrease in the abundance and a shift in the dominant EM sporocarp taxa. Despite no immediate recovery, EM sporocarp abundance and species richness approached those of the control 20 years after terminating N additions in the most heavily fertilized treatment, suggesting a recovery of carbon allocation to EM sporocarps after cessation of high N loading.4 Our results provide evidence for a tight coupling between tree carbon allocation to and N retention in EM sporocarps and moreover highlight the potential use of delta N-15 in EM sporocarps as a relative index of EM fungal sink strength for N. However, nitrogen additions at high dosage rates or over long time periods appear to disrupt this feedback, which could have important ramifications on carbon and nitrogen dynamics in these forested ecosystems.


Forest soils; mycorrhiza; nitrogen limitation; nitrogen retention; nitrogen stable isotope; Scots pine; sporocarp production; symbiosis

Publicerad i

Ecology and Evolution
2014, Volym: 4, nummer: 15, sidor: 3015-3026