Germination and infectivity of ectomycorrhizal fungal spores in relation to their ecological traits during primary succession

Authors

  • Takahide A. Ishida,

    1. Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, The University of Tokyo, Nishitokyo, Tokyo 188-0002, Japan;
    2. Present address: Umeå Plant Science Centre, The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, S-901 83 Umeå, Sweden;
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  • Kazuhide Nara,

    1. Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, The University of Tokyo, Nishitokyo, Tokyo 188-0002, Japan;
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  • Megumi Tanaka,

    1. Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, The University of Tokyo, Nishitokyo, Tokyo 188-0002, Japan;
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  • Akihiko Kinoshita,

    1. Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, The University of Tokyo, Nishitokyo, Tokyo 188-0002, Japan;
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  • Taizo Hogetsu

    1. Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, The University of Tokyo, Nishitokyo, Tokyo 188-0002, Japan;
    2. Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan
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Author for correspondence:
Takahide A. Ishida
Tel:+46 90 786  8651
Fax:+46 90 786 8165
Email: ishida@anesc.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Summary

  • • The spores of ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF) play critical roles in the population and community development of EMF. Here, the germination and infectivity of EMF spores are examined with reference to the ecological traits of the EMF species.
  • • Spores were collected from 12 EMF species, whose successional patterns have been studied in the volcanic desert on Mount Fuji, Japan. Spore germination experiments were conducted with host plants (Salix reinii), with nonhost plants (Polygonum cuspidatum), and without plants. The mycorrhizal formation ability of spores was also examined in seven EMF using spore inoculation experiments. To determine the effects of the spore preservation period, both experiments were repeated up to 1 yr after spore collection.
  • • Spore germination was very low in the absence of host plants. In the presence of hosts, even 30 d after spore collection, spore germination was significantly enhanced in all pioneer EMF (c. 20%) but less so in late-stage EMF (< 5%), except in Hebeloma species. Mycorrhizal formation from spores was also greater in pioneer EMF but was significantly reduced by 1 yr of spore preservation.
  • • High spore germination and infectivity of pioneer EMF should enable these species to colonize disturbed and isolated areas in accordance with their ecological traits.

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