Present address: Department of Biology, One University Heights, UNC-Asheville CPO#2440, Asheville, NC 28804.
Hyperdiversity of ectomycorrhizal fungus assemblages on oak seedlings in mixed forests in the southern Appalachian Mountains
Article first published online: 7 FEB 2005
Volume 14, Issue 3, pages 829–838, March 2005
How to Cite
WALKER, J. F., K. MILLER, O. and HORTON, J. L. (2005), Hyperdiversity of ectomycorrhizal fungus assemblages on oak seedlings in mixed forests in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Molecular Ecology, 14: 829–838. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2005.02455.x
- Issue published online: 7 FEB 2005
- Article first published online: 7 FEB 2005
- Received 31 August 2004; revision received 5 December 2004; accepted 5 December 2004
- ectomycorrhizal diversity;
- molecular identification;
- Quercus spp.;
- Rhododendron spp.;
- seedling regeneration
Diversity of ectotrophic mycobionts on outplanted seedlings of two oak species (Quercus rubra and Quercus prinus) was estimated at two sites in mature mixed forests in the southern Appalachian Mountains by sequencing nuclear 5.8S rRNA genes and the flanking internal transcribed spacer regions I and II (ITS). The seedlings captured a high diversity of mycorrhizal ITS-types and late-stage fungi were well represented. Total richness was 75 types, with 42 types having a frequency of only one. The first and second order jackknife estimates were 116 and 143 types, respectively. Among Basidiomycetes, tomentelloid/thelephoroid, russuloid, and cortinarioid groups were the richest. The ascomycete Cenococcum geophilum was ubiquitously present. Dominant fungi included a putative Tuber sp. (Ascomycetes), and Basidiomycetes including a putative Craterellus sp., and Laccaria cf. laccata. Diversity was lower at a drier high elevation oak forest site compared to a low elevation mesic cove — hardwood forest site. Fungal specificity for red oak vs. white oak seedlings was unresolved. The high degree of rarity in this system imposes limitations on the power of community analyses at finer scales. The high mycobiont diversity highlights the potential for seedlings to acquire carbon from mycelial networks and confirms the utility of using outplanted seedlings to estimate ectomycorrhizal diversity.