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Di Marino, Erika (2008): The ectomycorrhizal community structure in beech coppices of different age. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Biology
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Abstract

Abstract – The ectomycorrhizal community structure in Beech coppices of different age The species composition of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal communities can be strongly influenced by the sylvicultural practises, abiotic and biotic factors, which determine interactions among the species. In order to determine the influence of the coppicing on EM community, shoot age, bedrock types, exposure, slope, humus features, soil conditions, sampling points locations were taken into account as the most representative and influencing factors in these soil ecological dynamics. In summer 2005, 2006 and 2007, in 7 [2-48-years-old] Beech [Fagus sylvatica (L.) Karst.] coppices located in the Province of Trento (northern Italy), a monitoring on the the root tipes was applied to compare these sites, and to give an additional instrument like a synthetic biological indicator for the traditional management strategies. In the present study the results confirmed the ectomycorrhizal community structure investigated in 7 beech coppices of different age was typical with the occurrence of few abundant species and many others with significantly lower abundance. Cenococcum geophilum was the most frequently detected species in each site and in each sample date. Morphological, anatomical and molecular investigations revealed a total of 60 anatomotypes. Of these 35 were unknown on Fagus sylvatica up to now. The investigations on the community composition can be considered a great contribution to the biodiversity of the Beech forest, with four detailed species descriptions: Fagirhiza byssoporioides, Fagirhiza entolomoides, Fagirhiza stellata and Hygrophorus penarius. Additional investigations using stable isotopes were necessary to understand the parasitic attitude shown by this species in these coppices. The investigation of the ECM community composition (species richness evenness, and dispersion, vitality and rate of mycorrhization) in relation to shoot age and to the main ecological factors revealed the absence of a real reaction to the coppicing, and the major importance of the slope or other ecological conditions to understand the species distribution. An aggregation of the species was releaved, but the species features didn't show a clear correlation with the ecological stand conditions, concerning the spatial distribution and the soil horizons. The results suggest that the coppice treatment in Beech, didn't have a significant effect on the EM community structure since 2 until 48 years from coppicing. Considering the stability of the EM community as a bioindicator of the ecosystem resilience, it can be supposed that a rational coppicing treatment could be a sustainable human activity, compatible with the ecosystem dynamics under these environmental conditions. Two more EM descriptions were performed: Pseudotomentella humicola on Picea abies and Sistotrema muscicola on Castanea sativa.