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Response of ericoid mycorrhizal colonization and functioning to global change factors

  • Maria Olsrud
  • J M Melillo
  • Torben Christensen
  • A Michelsen
  • Håkan Wallander
  • Pål Axel Olsson
Publishing year: 2004
Language: English
Pages: 459-469
Publication/Series: New Phytologist
Volume: 162
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

Here, we investigated effects of increased atmospheric CO2 concentration, increased temperatures, and both factors in combination on ericoid mycorrhizal colonization, mycorrhizal functioning and below-ground carbon allocation in a subarctic forest understorey, to evaluate the hypothesis that photosynthesis is a primary driver for mycorrhizal colonization. Treatment effects on ecosystem processes were investigated using C-14-pulse labelling and photosynthesis measurements in combination with analysis of ergosterol content in roots. The effects on delta(15)N in leaves were also studied. Ergosterol content in hair roots was positively correlated with ecosystem photosynthesis and was higher in heat- and CO2-treated plots. Leaves from CO2 Plots tended to be more depleted in N-15 compared with controls both for Vaccinium myrtillus and V. vitis-idaea. Our results suggest that changes in ecosystem photosynthesis, plant carbon (C) Allocation may give rise to changing mycorrhizal colonization under elevated CO2 and temperature. The role of mycorrhizas in ecosystem N-cycling may change on a long-term basis as inorganic N availability declines with increasing levels of atmospheric CO2.


  • Ecology
  • Biological Sciences
  • Physical Geography


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



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