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Research article2006Peer reviewedOpen access

Species composition of an ectomycorrhizal fungal community along a local nutrient gradient in a boreal forest

Toljander JF, Eberhardt U, Toljander YK, Paul LR, Taylor AFS


circle Soil abiotic factors are considered to be important in determining the distribution of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal species; however, there are few field data to support this. Here, we relate ECM species distributions to changes in soil chemistry along a short (90-m), natural nutrient gradient. circle The ECM community was characterized, using morphological and molecular techniques, in soil samples collected at 10-m intervals. circle There were pronounced changes in ECM fungal community structure along the transect, with many taxa showing discrete distributions. Although there was a change of host from Pinus to Picea along the gradient, host-specific fungi did not account for the observed change in community structure. Ordination analyses showed that community structure was strongly correlated with soil characteristics, in particular extractable ammonium and base saturation. However, autocorrelation among soil parameters makes it difficult to isolate the effects of individual parameters. circle The distinctive changes in soil and vegetation along the transect used in this study provided an exceptional opportunity to examine the local-scale impact of natural spatial heterogeneity on an ECM fungal community

Published in

New Phytologist
2006, Volume: 170, number: 4, pages: 873-883 Publisher: BLACKWELL PUBLISHING