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Ectomycorrhizal fungi and nutrient mobilisation

Ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi form symbiotic relationships with trees. They produce several hundreds of kilogram of mycelia per hectare every year in most forest ecosystems. This is important for nutrient uptake of the trees, but also for carbon sequestration and N retention in the soil. We study how nutrient availability, fertilization and forest management influence the growth of the EM mycelium and how this is related to N retention and carbon sequestration.

We work in experimental sites with different management practices such as fertilization, intensive biomass removal and wood ash recycling, but also in monitoring sites where EM activity is related to environmental parameters such as N deposition, pH and precipitation. Most of the work is done in Norway spruce forests in the southern part of Sweden. Various techniques, such as carbon isotope analysis, pyrolysis-MS, FTIR, hydrophobicity tests, are applied to study how EM fungi influence soil organic matter, which will have consequences for carbon sequestration.

Several trees are visible in a forest, one tree has fallen and split into two.

Recent publications

All project publications at Lund University Publication Database

Page Manager:


  • Cecilia Akselsson, Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem analysis, Lund University
  • Johan Bergh, Swedish Forest Research Center, SLU Alnarp, Sweden
  • Per Gundersen, Forest and Landscape, Copenhagen University, Denmark
  • Per Persson, Department of Chemistry, Umeå University, Sweden
  • Mark Smits, Centre for Environmental Sciences, Hasselt University, Belgium