Estimates of fungal biomass in Scots pine stands on an urban pollution gradient



Biomasses of ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic fungal communities partitioned into sporophores and non-reproductive structures were estimated in mature Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands along an urban nitrogen and sulphur pollution gradient in northern Finland. The average total biomass of fungi varied in the four pollution zones from 14.6 to 20.2 g d. Wt kg−1 soil d. wt and from 73.3 to 108.0 g d. Wt m−2, the mycelia of both mycorrhizai and saprotrophic fungi in the soil comprising 72–80% of the total. The annual carbon allocation to the fungal communities was calculated to vary between 9 and 26% of the estimated annual carbon assimilation at the Scots pine sites. The size of the mean fungal biomass fractions decreased in the following sequence: mycelia in the soil > fungal biomass in fine roots estimated in terms of chitin > sclerotia > fungal biomass in fine roots estimated in terms of ergosterol > sporopbores of mycorrhizal fungi > sporophores of saprotrophie fungi. A positive correlation was obtained between the number of Scots pine mycorrhiza and the average sporophore yield of mvcorrhiaal fungi for three successive years. Tbe sporophore biomass of the mycorrhizal fungi was smaller at the most polluted than at the least polluted sites. The total fungal biomass allocation was not affected by urban pollution.