• cryptic species;
  • dynamics;
  • Phialocephala fortinii;
  • Picea abies;
  • population genetics;
  • root–endophyte communities


  • • 
    Phialocephala fortinii sensu lato was isolated from Picea abies roots that had been collected from the same 3 × 3-m forest plot in 2001 and 2004, to examine the spatial and temporal dynamics of this fungal community.
  • • 
    RFLP analysis was used to define the multilocus haplotype (MLH) of each isolate. Pielou's measure of association and χ2 tests of independence were employed to examine the randomness of patterns of spatial distribution of MLH observed in 2001 and 2004. Population differentiation between the two samplings was tested using the GST statistic.
  • • 
    In 2001, 144 strains of 28 MLH were isolated; in 2004, 139 strains of 29 MLH. Abundant MLH in 2001 also prevailed in 2004, and the same two cryptic species were dominant in both collections. The probability of being isolated in both years increased with increasing frequency of an MLH. The patterns of spatial distribution of most MLH did not differ between years. The GST values indicated identity of the two collections.
  • • 
    Communities of P. fortinii sensu lato remain spatially and genetically stable for at least 3 yr.