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Production of external mycelium by ectomycorrhizal fungi in a Norway spruce forest was reduced in response to nitrogen fertilization

  • Lars Ola Nilsson
  • Håkan Wallander
Publishing year: 2003
Language: English
Pages: 409-416
Publication/Series: New Phytologist
Volume: 158
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

A field study was carried out to evaluate the influence of N fertilization on the growth of the external mycelium of ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi in a Norway spruce forest in SW Sweden. Nylon mesh bags filled with sand were buried in the soil for 6-18 months and the ingrowth of mycelium was used as an estimate of EM mycelial growth. Root-isolated, trenched plots were used to estimate background growth of saprotrophic fungi. Mycelial growth of EM fungi in N-treated plots was reduced to c. 50% of that in nonfertilized plots. Local addition of apatite stimulated the EM mycelial growth in N-treated plots. The negative influence of N on the growth of external EM mycelium observed earlier in laboratory studies was confirmed in the present field study. The growth of EM mycelia was not directly related to N concentration in the soil but rather to the N status of the trees, although other factors induced by the N treatment may also have influenced EM mycelial growth.


  • Biological Sciences


  • Microbial Ecology
  • ISSN: 1469-8137
Håkan Wallander
E-mail: hakan [dot] wallander [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se



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