Population studies of ectomycorrhizal fungal species have largely relied upon fruit body (the reproductive organ) sampling. Analysis of the fruit bodies alone supposes that they reflect the present and spatial organization of all below-ground genets (mycorrhizas and extramatrical mycelia). The relation between fruit bodies and ectomycorrhizas was investigated for the basidiomycete agaric Hebeloma cylindrosporum in four Pinus pinaster stands in south-west France. Genet identification was based on the comparison of polymorphisms within a hypervariable segment of the ribosomal intergenic spacer amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using a H. cylindrosporum species-specific primer. Mycorrhizas were sorted from soil samples collected underneath patches of fruit bodies or patches where fruit bodies had or had not been observed during the years prior to mycorrhiza collection. On average 65% of the 1026 mycorrhizas collected underneath fruit bodies were formed by H. cylindrosporum, whereas only 2% of the 954 collected in places from where fruit bodies were absent were formed by this species. All genotypes identified above ground were also identified below ground. In patches where one genotype formed all or more than 90% of the fruit bodies, the same genotype formed all or a large majority of the mycorrhizas. In patches occupied by several different fruiting genotypes, additional nonfruiting ones could be present on the root systems. In all cases, the mycorrhizas of one genotype were found no more than 10–20 cm away from its corresponding fruit bodies, and fruit body disappearance at a given place was associated with the disappearance of the corresponding mycorrhizas within 1 year. Although there was not a strict coincidence between the total numbers of genets present below ground and of those forming fruit bodies, fruit body analysis for H. cylindrosporum appears to reflect both the genetic diversity and the spatial structure of its below-ground populations. The results obtained also illustrate the rapid turnover of ectomycorrhizal fungal species on the root systems in the absence of any obvious major disturbance of the ecosystem.