, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 107–114 | Cite as

Exploration types of ectomycorrhizae

A proposal to classify ectomycorrhizal mycelial systems according to their patterns of differentiation and putative ecological importance
  • Reinhard Agerer
Original Paper


There is a need to quantify and qualify the ability of ectomycorrhizae to improve tree growth and nutrition and, in particular, to define criteria to classify ectomycorrhizae with respect to ecologically relevant features. Whereas the numbers of ectomycorrhizae and morphotypes give useful information when related to root biomass, root length or soil volume, the development and differentiation of the extramatrical mycelium may represent important predicative features relevant to the ecological classification of ectomycorrhizae. Here, different exploration types of ectomycorrhizae are distinguished based on the amount of emanating hyphae or the presence and differentiation of rhizomorphs. Their putative ecological importance is discussed.

Keywords  Ecology Ectomycorrhizae Exploration types Extramatrical mycelium Rhizomorphs 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reinhard Agerer
    • 1
  1. 1.Section Mykologie, Institut für Systematische Botanik, Universität München, 80638 Munich, Germany e-mail: Fax: +49-89 172638DE

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