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Allelopathic effects of litter on the growth and colonization of mycorrhizal fungi

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In laboratory studies, water-soluble extracts of the litter of four shrub and three conifer species had variable effects on the growth of four species of ectomycorrhizal fungi. In general, low concentrations (parts per thousand) stimulated fungal growth; while, high concentrations (parts per hundred and parts per ten) either stimulated growth, inhibited growth, or had no effect, depending on both fungal and litter species. In greenhouse studies, litter applied to the surface of a sand-soil mixture reduced the formation ofRhizopogon sp. on Douglas-fir seedlings. Allelochemicals in the litter may inhibit seedling growth and suppress fungai growth and root colonization in the field, thus explaining the failures of reforestation by conifer species in disturbed sites.

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Rose, S.L., Perry, D.A., Pilz, D. et al. Allelopathic effects of litter on the growth and colonization of mycorrhizal fungi. J Chem Ecol 9, 1153–1162 (1983).

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