Colonisation of spruce roots by two interacting ectomycorrhizal fungi in wood ash amended substrates

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Interactions between two ectomycorrhizal fungal species, Piloderma croceum Erikss. and Hjortst. and Piloderma sp. 1 (found to colonise spruce roots and wood ash granules in the field), were investigated in wood ash amended substrates. The comparative ability of these fungi to colonise roots of non-mycorrhizal spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) seedlings was studied in relation to factorial combinations of wood ash and N fertilisation. Non-mycorrhizal spruce seedlings (bait seedlings) were planted together with spruce seedlings colonised by P. croceum or Piloderma sp. 1. The growth substrate was a sand-peat mixture with wood ash or no ash and supplied with two levels of N, so that four substrate combinations were obtained. Piloderma sp. 1 mycelia colonised around 60% of the fine roots of bait seedlings in ash treatments regardless of N level and around 20-26% in treatments without ash. P. croceum only colonised 8% of the root tips in the presence of ash but 56% of the root tips in the low-N treatment without ash. However, in the high-N treatment without ash the colonisation level was reduced to around 30%. Total numbers of root tips per seedling did not vary significantly between the treatments. Possible reasons for the competitive advantage of Piloderma sp. 1 in wood ash fertilised substrate are discussed. (C) 2003 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.


  • Shahid Mahmood
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology


  • competition, PCR-RFLP, N fertilisation, wood ash, ectomycorrhizal fungi, spruce colonisation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-87
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Publication categoryResearch