Functional diversity of mycorrhiza in relation to land-use changes and ecosystem functions

Scientific investigators

Prof. Dr. Andrea Polle

Dr. Rodica Pena

Kristina Schroeter

(University Goettingen)


Model validation

Ecophysiological/mechanistic links between forest utilization and diversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi

Research Guiding Questions

1. Do differences in stand structure of managed and unmanaged forests influence belowground carbon allocation, thereby, affecting EMF diversity?

2. Is the taxonomic diversity of soil fungi (= potentially interacting fungi) related to the taxonomic diversity of EMF (= realized interactions)?

3. Does an increased production of root litter/material exchange as a consequence of forest utilization create new niches that foster increased EMF species richness

4. Do beech family structures affect the recruiting behaviour for EMF?


1. Root carbohydrate concentrations in relation to stand structure in all 150 forest EPs (Collaborations with WG Ammer and Kleinn)

2. Analysis of fungal species richness in roots by high-throughput sequencing (Collaborations with workgroups Buscot and Daniel)

3. Experimental disturbance (root detachment) and analysis of EMF in relation soil and litter nutrient composition (NO3-, NH4+, amino acids, carbohydrate)

4. Outplanting of beeches of defined family structures (Continue the collaboration with workgroup Finkeldey)



Scientific investigators

Prof. Dr. Andrea Polle

Thomas Klein

Rainer Schulz

Christa Lang

(University Goettingen)



Previous project phase:


1. EM diversity is not related to management intensity but to the intraspecific genetic structure of the host tree species and the richness of EM-building species present in the soil.

2. Host root production and their nutrient efficiency are correlated with abundance and diversity of ectomycorrhiza.

3. EM community structures affect soil properties.