SURVIVAL OF MYCORRHIZA FORMED BY CENOCOCCUM GEOPHILUM FR. IN DRY SOILS

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SUMMARY

Seedlings and 2-year old saplings of Tilia cordata growing in the shade on sandy-textured soils can survive periods when the water potential of the soil decreases to −18 to −55 bars. Their mycorrhiza formed by Cenococcum geophilum is shown to remain alive. Measurement of rates of water-loss from seedlings in similar conditions decreases from 16.0 to 26.2 mg h−1 when the soil is wet, to 4.1 to 4.6 mg h−1 when the soil is dry. Calculation of the volume of the mycorrhiza shows that its water content would support transpiration for periods not exceeding 1 h. Survival of the mycorrhiza through long periods of drought is apparently related to the ability of the fungal partner to withstand desiccation.

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