On the persistence of Cenococcum geophilum ectomycorrhizas and its implications for forest carbon and nutrient cycles

Christopher W. Fernandez, M. Luke McCormack, Jason M. Hill, Seth G. Pritchard, Roger T. Koide

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

The turnover of ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungal biomass represents an important litter input into forest biogeochemical cycles. Cenococcum geophilum is a nearly ubiquitous and often abundant EM fungus, making the turnover dynamics of this species relevant and important across forest ecosystems. To better understand the turnover dynamics of C.geophilum ectomycorrhizas we examined their persistence using minirhizotron imaging and vitality status using a fluorescein diacetate (FDA) stain and contrasted these results with ectomycorrhizas of other EM fungi. Ectomycorrhizas formed by C. geophilum persisted 4-10 times longer and exhibited contrasting seasonal patterns of vitality compared to ectomycorrhizas of other EM fungi. Together, this suggests that litter resulting from the death of C.geophilum ectomycorrhizas is relatively recalcitrant to decay and may disproportionately influence forest biogeochemical cycles by retarding the rate at which carbon and nutrients are cycled.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-143
Number of pages3
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Volume65
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge financial support from The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to CWF, from the Department of Energy GREF program to MLM, from the USDA and NSF to RTK, and from DOE (NICCR-DE-FC02 06ER64156) to SGP.

Keywords

  • Biogeochemistry
  • C cycling
  • Cenococcum geophilum
  • Decomposition
  • Ectomycorrhizal fungi
  • N cycling
  • Root turnover

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