Abstract. Ectomycorrhizal species composition and sporocarp abundance in two 15–20-yr old primary stands of Pinus sylvestris in the central part of the Netherlands was compared with those in two 16- and 27-yr old secondary stands of P. sylvestris in the Northeast of the country. The trees of the primary stands were spontaneously seeded in a drifting sand area. Only thin litter and humus layers were present. The trees of the 16-yr old secondary stand were planted on podzolic sandy soil and those of the 27-yr old stand on non-podzolic sandy soil. In both secondary stands thick litter and humus layers had developed. The litter and humus partly originated from former stands at the same sites and partly from the present stands. In the secondary stands the thick litter and humus layers and herb vegetation were removed (‘sod-cutting’) in order to simulate the thin litter and humus layers in the primary stands. Control treatments were present. Surveys in 1991, 1992 and 1993 showed that sod-cutting enhanced both abundance and diversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi. However, species richness and diversity were higher in the primary stands than in the secondary ones, also even in the sod-cut plots. High species richness and diversity were associated with low concentrations of nitrogen and relatively high pH in the litter and humus layers, and in the mineral soil.