Ectomycorrhizal community composition and function in a spruce forest transitioning between nitrogen and phosphorus limitation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Nitrogen is the main limiting nutrient in boreal ecosystems, but studies in southwest Sweden suggest that certain forests approach phosphorus (P) limitation driven by nitrogen (N) deposition. We added N, P or N + P to a Norway spruce forest in this region, to push the system to N or P limitation. Tree growth and needle nutrient concentrations indicated that the trees are P limited. EMF biomass was reduced only by N + P additions. Soil EMF communities responded more strongly to P than to N. Addition of apatite to ingrowth meshbags altered EMF community composition and enhanced the abundance of Imleria badia in the control and N plots, but not when P was added. The ecological significance of this species is discussed. Effects on tree growth, needle chemistry, and EMF communities indicate a dynamic interaction between EMF fungi and the nutrient status of trees and soils.


External organisations
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå
  • Linnaeus University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology


  • Apatite, Ectomycorrhizae, Ergosterol, Nitrogen and phosphorus limitation, Nitrogen deposition, Nitrogen leaching
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-31
JournalFungal Ecology
Early online date2018 Jan 1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch