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Mycorrhiza. 2005 Jun;15(4):235-45. Epub 2004 Jun 25.

Year-round monitoring of diversity and potential metabolic activity of the ectomycorrhizal community in a beech (Fagus silvatica) forest subjected to two thinning regimes.

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  • 1Unité Mixte de Recherche 1136 Interaction Arbres/Micro-organismes, Centre INRA de Nancy, 54280 , Champenoux, France.


This work was aimed at understanding how the functional diversity of ectomycorrhizas (ECM) is driven by environmental factors and how it adapts to the structure of the forest stand. Superficial fine roots were sampled 21 times during an entire year in two adjacent plots (no thinning and strong thinning) of a mature beech (Fagus silvatica) forest. Individual ectomycorrhizal root tips were morphologically characterised and the symbiotic fungi were molecularly identified. ECM were also tested for dehydrogenase and acid phosphatase activities, and soil moisture and temperature were recorded. The results provide a description of ECM community dynamics over a whole year in the two stands. The main conclusions are threefold: (1) the species structure of the ECM community and metabolic activity of each morphotype change depending on the season, temperature and soil moisture, and a number of morphotypes are more abundant and active in winter than in summer, (2) the silviculture treatment (strong thinning) modifies the ectomycorrhizal community structure, and (3) the overall function of the ECM community results from the individual time pattern and specialisation of each morphotype.

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