Biological Invasions

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 3–15 | Cite as

Invasion biology of Australian ectomycorrhizal fungi introduced with eucalypt plantations into the Iberian Peninsula

  • Jesús Díez


In the last two centuries, several species of Australian eucalypts (e.g. Eucalyptus camaldulensis and E.␣globulus) were introduced into the Iberian Peninsula for the production of paper pulp. The effects of the introduction of exotic root-symbitotic fungi together with the eucalypts have received little attention. During the past years, we have investigated the biology of ectomycorrhizal fungi in eucalypt plantations in the Iberian Peninsula. In the plantations studied, we found fruit bodies of several Australian ectomycorrhizal fungi and identified their ectomycorrhizas with DNA molecular markers. The most frequent species were Hydnangium carneum, Hymenogaster albus, Hysterangium inflatum, Labyrinthomyces donkii, Laccaria fraterna, Pisolithus albus, P. microcarpus, Rhulandiella berolinensis, Setchelliogaster rheophyllus, and Tricholoma eucalypticum. These fungi were likely brought from Australia together with the eucalypts, and they seem to have facilitated the establishment of eucalypt plantations and their naturalization. The dispersion of Australian fungal propagules may be facilitating the spread of eucalypts along watercourses in semiarid regions increasing the water lost. Because ectomycorrhizal fungi are obligate symbionts, their capacity to persist after eradication of eucalypt stands, and/or to extend beyond forest plantations, would rely on the possibility to find compatible native host trees, and to outcompete the native ectomycorrhizal fungi. Here we illustrate the case of the Australasian species Laccaria fraterna, which fruits in Mediterranean shrublands of ectomycorrhizal species of Cistus (rockroses). We need to know which other Australasian fungi extend to the native ecosystems, if we are to predict environmental␣risks associated with the introduction of Australasian ectomycorrhizal fungi into the Iberian Peninsula.

ectomycorrhizal fungi Eucalyptus exotic fungi forest plantations invasion ecology 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jesús Díez
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento Biología VegetalUniversidad de AlcaláAlcalá de Henares (Madrid)Spain

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