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Mycorrhiza. 2012 Nov;22(8):603-13. doi: 10.1007/s00572-012-0437-z. Epub 2012 Mar 14.

Correspondence of ectomycorrhizal diversity and colonisation of willows (Salix spp.) grown in short rotation coppice on arable sites and adjacent natural stands.

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Department of Microbiology, Institute of General and Molecular Biology, N. Copernicus University, Torun, Poland.


Willows (Salix spp.) are mycorrhizal tree species sometimes cultivated as short rotation coppice (SRC) on arable sites for energy purposes; they are also among the earliest plants colonising primary successional sites in natural stands. The objective of this study was to analyse the degree of colonisation and diversity of ectomycorrhizal (EM) communities on willows grown as SRC in arable soils and their adjacent natural or naturalized stands. Arable sites usually lack ectomycorrhizal host plants before the establishment of SRC, and adjacent natural or naturalized willow stands were hypothesized to be a leading source of ectomycorrhizal inoculum for the SRC. Three test sites including SRC stands (Salix viminalis, Salix dasyclados, and Salix schwerinii) and adjacent natural or naturalized (Salix caprea, Salix fragilis, and Salix × mollissima) stands in central Sweden were investigated on EM colonisation and morphotypes, and the fungal partners of 36 of the total 49 EM fungi morphotypes were identified using molecular tools. The frequency of mycorrhizas in the natural/naturalized stands was higher (two sites) or lower (one site) than in the corresponding cultivated stands. Correspondence analysis revealed that some EM taxa (e.g. Agaricales) were mostly associated with cultivated willows, while others (e.g. Thelephorales) were mostly found in natural/naturalized stands. In conclusion, we found strong effects of sites and willow genotype on EM fungi formation, but poor correspondence between the EM fungi abundance and diversity in SRC and their adjacent natural/naturalized stands. The underlying mechanism might be selective promotion of some EM fungi species by more effective spore dispersal.

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