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Long-term effect of apatite on ectomycorrhizal growth and community structure.

  • Christoffer Berner
  • Tomas Johansson
  • Håkan Wallander
Publishing year: 2012
Language: English
Pages: 615-621
Publication/Series: Mycorrhiza
Volume: 22
Issue: 8
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi are efficient at taking up phosphorus (P) from mineral sources, such as apatite, which are not easily available to the host trees. Since ECM fungal species differ in P uptake rates, it can be expected that the composition of the ECM fungal community will change upon exposure to apatite, provided that the P transfer is rewarded by more carbon being transferred to the fungal symbiont. Control and apatite-amended mesh bags were buried in pairs in the humus layer of a P-poor Norway spruce forest. The ECM fungal community that colonized these bags was analyzed by DNA extraction, PCR amplification of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region, cloning, and random sequencing. Fungal biomass was estimated by ergosterol analysis. No change in the ECM fungal community structure was seen after 5 years of apatite exposure, although the fungal biomass increased threefold upon apatite amendment. Our results indicate that host trees enhance carbon allocation to ECM fungi colonizing P sources in P-poor forests but the lack of change in the composition of the ECM fungal community suggests that P transfer rates were similar among the species. Alternatively, higher P transfer among certain species was not rewarded with higher carbon transfer from the host.


  • Biological Sciences
  • Ectomycorrhiza
  • Community structure
  • Apatite
  • Norway spruce
  • External mycelium
  • Weathering


  • Ectomycorrhizal fungi and apatite weathering
  • Ectomycorrhizal fungi and nutrient mobilisation
  • Ectomycorrhizal fungi and apatite weathering
  • Microbial Ecology
  • ISSN: 1432-1890
Håkan Wallander
E-mail: hakan [dot] wallander [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se



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