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Environ Monit Assess. 2007 May;128(1-3):47-59. Epub 2007 Feb 7.

Types of ectomycorrhiza of mature beech and spruce at ozone-fumigated and control forest plots.

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Slovenian Forestry Institute, Vecna pot 2, 1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia.


In the Kranzberg forest near Freising (Germany) a novel "Free-Air Canopy O3 Exposure" system has been employed for analysing O3-induced responses from sub-cellular to ecosystem levels that are relevant for carbon balance and CO2 demand of 60-year-old beech trees. The below-ground ectomycorrhizal community was studied in two-fold ambient O3 concentrations (five cores per sampling) and in a control plot with an ambient O3 concentration (four cores per sampling). Five samplings were taken throughout two vegetation seasons (2003 and 2004). Types of ectomycorrhiza were determined by their morphological, anatomical and molecular characteristics and quantified by counting. The total number of mycorrhizal fine roots was higher at the fumigated plot as compared with the control site. The numbers of ectomycorrhizal types at the fumigated and control plots were 28 and 26, respectively. Cenococcum geophilum was present in all soil cores at all sampling times with a significant increase in abundance under ozone-fumigated trees. Other mycorrhizal types present at higher abundance at the fumigated than at the control plot were identified as Russula densiflora, R. fellea, R. illota, Tuber puberulum, Lactarius sp. 2 and Russula sp. 2. Some mycorrhizal types were present exclusively at the fumigated plot (Fagirhiza fusca, F. setifera, Lactarius acris, Piceirhiza nigra and Russula sp. 1). A possible ecological role for the abundant types of ectomycorrhiza and their putative application in bio-indication is discussed.

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