Chapter

Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling in European Forest Ecosystems

Volume 142 of the series Ecological Studies pp 343-365

Fungal Diversity in Ectomycorrhizal Communities of Norway Spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] and Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) Along North-South Transects in Europe

  • A. F. S. Taylor
  • , F. Martin
  • , D. J. Read

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Abstract

Spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) and beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) which are among the most important tree species, respectively, of boreal and temperate forest ecosystems in Europe are characteristically ectomycorrhizal (Meyer 1973). While the forests dominated by these plants have a low diversity of tree species, the trees themselves typically support a very diverse community of fungal symbionts (Trappe 1962; Väre et al. 1996). In recent years, however, concern has been expressed over an apparent reduction in the number of fungal species represented in the form of carpophores in European forests (Arnolds 1991). While this is an important concern in itself, from the standpoint of tree nutrition and forest health the key issue is the structure of the fungal community on the roots rather than that observed above ground as carpophores.