Canadian Journal of Botany • 21 November 1999
Diversity and host specificity of ectomycorrhizal fungi retrieved from three adjacent forest sites by five host species
H B Massicotte, R Molina, L E Tackaberry, J E Smith, and M P Amaranthus

Seedlings of Abies grandis (Dougl.) Lindl. (grand fir), Lithocarpus densiflora (Hook. & Arn.) Rehd. (tanoak), Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws. (ponderosa pine), Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco (Douglas-fir), and Arbutus menziesii Pursh (madrone) were planted in mixture and monoculture in soil collected from three adjacent forest sites in southwestern Oregon (a clearcut area, a 25-year-old Douglas-fir plantation, and a mature 90- to 160-year-old Douglas-fir - pine forest) to determine the effect of host tree diversity on retrieval of ectomycorrhizal morphotypes. In this greenhouse bioassay, 18 morphotypes of mycorrhizae were recognized overall from all soils with a total of 55 host-fungus combinations: 14 types with ponderosa pine, 14 with Douglas-fir, 10 with tanoak, 10 with grand fir, and 7 for madrone. Four genus-specific morphotypes were retrieved (three on ponderosa pine and one on Douglas-fir), even in mixture situations, demonstrating selectivity of some fungal propagules by their respective host. Five types were detected on all hosts, but not necessarily in soils from all sites. The remaining nine types were associated with two, three, or four hosts, which indicates a wide potential for interspecific hyphal linkages between trees. More morphotypes were retrieved from the monoculture treatments compared with the mixture treatments, although the differences were not significant. Several examples of acropetal replacement of one fungus by another (interpreted as succession) were recorded on all hosts during the course of the experiment. These results illustrate the importance of different host species in maintaining ectomycorrhizal fungus diversity, especially fungi with restricted host range, and the strong potential for fungal linkages between trees in forest ecosystems.

Mycorrhizal Fungi