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Early colonization of red alder and Douglas fir by ectomycorrhizal fungi and Frankia in soils from the Oregon coast range

Abstract

The potential for mycorrhizal formation and Frankia nodulation were studied in soils from six sites in the Pacific Northwest. The sites included young and old alder stands, a 1-year-old conifer clear-cut, a young conifer plantation, and rotation-aged and old-growth conifer stands. A bioassay procedure was used with both red alder and Douglas fir seedlings as hosts. After 6 weeks growth, seedlings of both hosts were harvested every 3 weeks for 21 weeks and numbers of nodules and ectomycorrhizal types estimated. Nodules formed on red alder and ectomycorrhizae formed on both alder and Douglas fir in soil from all sites. Nodulation potential was highest in soil from the alder stands and the conifer plantation. Seven morphologically distinct ectomycorrhizal types were recovered on Douglas fir and five on alder. Only Thelephora terrestris, a broad-host-range mycobiont, formed mycorrhizae on both hosts. New ectomycorrhizal types formed on both hosts throughout the bioassay. Ectomycorrhizal colonization of alder was greatest in the alder and clear-cut soils. Low ectomycorrhizal colonization on alder was found in soils from sites where conifers were actively growing. Ectomycorrhizal colonization of Douglas fir was highest in the young alder and conifer plantation soils and was low in the rotation-aged conifer soil. The highest diversity of ectomycorrhizal types was found on alder in the conifer clear-cut soil and on Douglas fir in the rotation-aged conifer soil. Effects of host specificity, nodulation and mycorrhiza-forming potential and nodule-mycorrhiza interactions on seedling establishment are discussed in relation to seral stage dynamics and attributes of pioneer ectomycorrhizal fungal species.

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Miller, S.L., Koo, C.D. & Molina, R. Early colonization of red alder and Douglas fir by ectomycorrhizal fungi and Frankia in soils from the Oregon coast range. Mycorrhiza 2, 53–61 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00203250

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Key words

  • Ectomycorrhizae
  • Frankia
  • Propagules
  • Nodules
  • Succession