Underground primary succession of ectomycorrhizal fungi in a volcanic desert on Mount Fuji


Author for correspondence: Kazuhide Nara Tel: + 81 424 655601 Fax: + 81 424 655601 Email: nara@anesc.u-tokyo.ac.jp


  • •   Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi are indispensable symbionts for the normal growth of many tree species. Here, we report the underground primary succession of ECM fungi in a volcanic desert on Mt. Fuji, Japan.
  • •   We identified all the underground fungal constituents by comparing the fragment lengths of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions in nuclear r-DNA with those of sporocarps, considering intraspecific variation of each species at the research site. ITS sequences were also used for identification.
  • •   In total, 21 ECM fungi associated with Salix reinii were identified. Species recorded as sporocarps dominated the underground ECM community. The sere of underground ECM fungi was initiated by one or two of three first-stage fungi, and additional species were recruited with host growth, especially in the soil that developed within a vegetation patch. The species richness of ECM fungi increased significantly with host growth.
  • •   The underground ECM community associated with unhealthy hosts differed from that of normally growing hosts. The underground ECM communities and their successional patterns might influence plant growth and plant communities during early primary succession.