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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2009 Feb;6(2):414-32. doi: 10.3390/ijerph6020414. Epub 2009 Feb 1.

Assessing the effect of disturbances on ectomycorrhiza diversity.

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  • 1Department of Systems Ecology, University of Bucharest, Spl. Independentei 91-95, 050089, Sector 5, Bucuresti, Romania.


Ectomycorrhiza (ECM) communities can be described on a species level or on a larger scale at an ecosystem level. Here we show that the species level approach of successional processes in ECM communities is not appropriate for understanding the diversity patterns of ECM communities at contaminated sites. An ecosystem based approach improves predictability since different biotic and abiotic factors are included. However, it still does not take into account the hierarchical structure of the ecosystem. We suggest that diversity patterns of ECMs communities in forests can best be investigated at three levels. This hypothetical approach for investigation can be tested at sites of secondary succession in areas contaminated with metals. Once the diversity patterns are appropriately described by a hierarchical ecosystem approach, to the species level is used to explain these patterns by populational and ecotoxicological mechanisms.


Ectomycorrhiza; biodiversity; ecotoxicology; landscape ecology; metals; succession

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