Ectomycorrhizal community structure varies among Norway spruce (Picea abies) clones


Author for correspondence: Tiina Korkama Tel: +358 10 2112400 Fax: +358 10 2112204 Email:


  • • In northern boreal forests, the diversity of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) species is much greater than that of their host trees. This field study investigated the role of individual trees in shaping the ECM community.
  • • We compared ECM communities of eight Norway spruce (Picea abies) clones planted in a clear-cut area in 1994 with a randomized block design. In 2003, the ECM fungi were identified from randomly sampled root tips using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence similarity.
  • • ECM diversity varied among clone groups, showing twofold growth differences. Moreover, according to detrended correspondence analysis (DCA), ECM community structure varied not only among but also within slow-growing or fast-growing clones.
  • • Results suggest that ECM diversity and community structure are related to the growth rate or size of the host. A direct or indirect influence of host genotype was also observed, and we therefore suggest that individual trees are partly responsible for the high diversity and patchy distribution of ECM communities in boreal forests.