, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 447–456 | Cite as

Mycorrhizal fungal communities in coastal sand dunes and heaths investigated by pyrosequencing analyses

  • Synnøve Botnen
  • Håvard Kauserud
  • Tor Carlsen
  • Rakel Blaalid
  • Klaus HøilandEmail author
Original Paper


Maritime sand dunes and coastal ericaceous heaths are unstable and dynamic habitats for mycorrhizal fungi. Creeping willow (Salix repens) is an important host plant in these habitats in parts of Europe. In this study, we wanted to assess which mycorrhizal fungi are associated with S. repens in four different coastal vegetation types in Southern Norway, three types from sand dunes and one from heaths. Moreover, we investigated which ecological factors are important for the fungal community structure in these vegetation types. Mycorrhizal fungi on S. repens root samples were identified by 454 pyrosequencing of tag-encoded internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) amplicons. Significantly higher fungal richness was observed in hummock dunes and dune slacks compared to eroded dune vegetation. The compositional variation was mainly accounted for by location (plot) and vegetation type and was significantly correlated to content of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in soil. The investigated maritime sand dunes and coastal ericaceous heaths hosted mycorrhizal taxa mainly associated with Helotiales, Sebacinales, Thelephorales and Agaricales.


Mycorrhiza Salix repens Ericaceous heaths Sand dunes 



Thanks are due to Berit Kaasa (Department of Bioscience, UiO) for analyses of total C, N and P in the soil samples. The Department of Biosciences, UiO, is acknowledged for financial support. The county governor of Vest-Agder is thanked for granting permission to collect samples in the nature-protected areas on the Lista peninsula.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Synnøve Botnen
    • 1
  • Håvard Kauserud
    • 1
  • Tor Carlsen
    • 1
  • Rakel Blaalid
    • 1
  • Klaus Høiland
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Section for Genetics and Evolutionary Biology, Department of BiosciencesUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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