Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 439–446 | Cite as

Diversity of the ectomycorrhiza community at a uranium mining heap

  • S. Staudenrausch
  • M. Kaldorf
  • C. Renker
  • P. Luis
  • F. BuscotEmail author
Original Paper


Ectomycorrhiza (EM) community structure was analyzed at one bare heap site (BHS), one heap site with organic cover (HS-OH) and one reference site (RS) in the former uranium mining area near Ronneburg (Thuringia, Germany). Twenty-three EM morphotypes were distinguished, and 14 of them were additionally characterized by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence analysis. Colonization of birch by the different morphotypes was quantified, and the EM diversity at the different sites was investigated. Compared to RS, total EM colonization was reduced by 6% (P=0.851) at HS-OH and by 58% (P<0.001) at BHS. Likewise, EM diversity was reduced by 16% (P=0.229) at HS-OH and 52% (P<0.001) at BHS. The Sørensen similarity between EM samples from RS was nearly independent from the sampling date, whereas at HS-OH and especially BHS, the Sørensen similarity decreased with increasing time between the samplings. All EM fungal species dominating at the two heap sites were also present at RS. Thus, fungi with high tolerance against uranium and other stress factors at the heap sites (e.g. heavy metals, nutrient limitation, drought) were selected among all EM fungi of the area. Highly adapted fungi with a distribution restricted to the contaminated soils were not detected.


Betula pendula Ectomycorrhiza ITS analysis Morphotyping Uranium mining 



This work was kindly supported by a grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Geschäftszeichen Nr. Bu 941/5-1). The authors would like to thank Dr. J. Wiegand for the soil analyses and Dr. G. Walther for the identification of fruit bodies.

Supplementary material

374_2005_849_ESM_supp.pdf (280 kb)
(PDF 271 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Staudenrausch
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Kaldorf
    • 1
    • 3
  • C. Renker
    • 1
    • 3
  • P. Luis
    • 1
    • 3
  • F. Buscot
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Sciences, Institute of EcologyUniversity of JenaJenaGermany
  2. 2.Center for Development Research (ZEF)University of BonnBonnGermany
  3. 3.Department of Terrestrial Ecology, Institute of Biology IUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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