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Keywords:

  • colonized roots;
  • community structure;
  • DNA fingerprinting;
  • ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi;
  • mycelia;
  • species composition;
  • species richness

Summary

  • Ectomycorrhizal fungal communities have been characterized in a number of ways. Here we compare colonized root-tip and mycelia views of an ectomycorrhizal fungal community.
  • Ectomycorrhizal fungi, both as mycelia and colonized root tips, were identified in soil samples taken from a pine plantation.
  • We determined that for some ectomycorrhizal fungal species multiple root tips from a single soil sample were not independent. Therefore in the comparison of root-tip and mycelia views, we considered species to be present or absent from each soil sample irrespective of the number of root tips colonized by the species. We observed 39 ectomycorrhizal fungal species in total, but 12 were observed exclusively as mycelia and 11 exclusively colonizing root tips. The relative frequencies of 10 species occurring as both mycelia and root tips were not independent of the method of observation.
  • Our results suggest that ectomycorrhizal fungal species differ in their spatial distributions on root tips, and that root-tip and mycelia views of the community are different.