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Evaluation of methods to estimate production, biomass and turnover of ectomycorrhizal mycelium in forests soils - A review

  • Håkan Wallander
  • A. Ekblad
  • D. L. Godbold
  • D. Johnson
  • Adam Bahr
  • P. Baldrian
  • R. G. Bjork
  • B. Kieliszewska-Rokicka
  • R. Kjoller
  • H. Kraigher
  • C. Plassard
  • M. Rudawska
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 1034-1047
Publication/Series: Soil Biology & Biochemistry
Volume: 57
Document type: Journal article review
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract english

Mycorrhizal fungi constitute a considerable sink for carbon in most ecosystems. This carbon is used for building extensive mycelial networks in the soil as well as for metabolic activity related to nutrient uptake. A number of methods have been developed recently to quantify production, standing biomass and turnover of extramatrical mycorrhizal mycelia (EMM) in the field. These methods include minirhizotrons, in-growth mesh bags and cores, and indirect measurements of EMM based on classification of ectomycorrhizal fungi into exploration types. Here we review the state of the art of this methodology and discuss how it can be developed and applied most effectively in the field, Furthermore, we also discuss different ways to quantify fungal biomass based on biomarkers such as chitin, ergosterol and PLFAs, as well as molecular methods, such as qPCR. The evidence thus far indicates that mycorrhizal fungi are key components of microbial biomass in many ecosystems. We highlight the need to extend the application of current methods to focus on a greater range of habitats and mycorrhizal types enabling incorporation of mycorrhizal fungal biomass and turnover into biogeochemical cycling models. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Biological Sciences
  • Chitin
  • Exploration type
  • Ergosterol
  • Extramatrical mycelium
  • In-growth
  • bag
  • Minirhizotron
  • PLFA
  • Rhizomorphs
  • Sampling design
  • Turnover rates


  • Ectomycorrhizal fungi and apatite weathering
  • Ectomycorrhizal fungi and nutrient mobilisation
  • Ectomycorrhizal fungi and apatite weathering
  • Microbial Ecology
  • ISSN: 0038-0717
Håkan Wallander
E-mail: hakan [dot] wallander [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se



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