Host effects on ectomycorrhizal fungal communities: insight from eight host species in mixed conifer–broadleaf forests


Author for correspondence: Takahide A. Ishida Tel: +81 42 465-5601 Fax: +81 42 465-5616 Email:


  • • To advance our understanding of host effects on the community structure of ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF), EMF communities were compared among different host species, genera and families in two mixed conifer–broadleaf forests in Japan.
  • • Using molecular identification methods we examined EMF root tips of eight coexisting species belonging to six genera (three families): Abies and Tsuga (Pinaceae), Betula and Carpinus (Betulaceae) and Fagus and Quercus (Fagaceae).
  • • In total, 205 EMF species were detected, and the total richness was estimated to exceed 300 species using major estimators. Of the 55 EMF species occurring three or more times, eight showed significantly biased host preference. A Mantel test showed a significantly negative correlation between EMF community similarity and host taxonomic distance. Detrended correspondence analysis separated EMF communities mainly by host taxonomic and successional status.
  • • Thus, EMF communities are similar on hosts with similar taxonomic and successional status. A significant proportion of EMF exhibited host specificity, which may contribute to the extremely diverse EMF community in conifer–broadleaf forests.