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Ectomycorrhizal fungi (ECM) are a key group facilitating nutrients flow in forest ecosystems. Their tight association with the tree roots represents an important link between above- and belowground biomes. The project ECTOMYC addresses species richness and ecosystem functions of ECM assemblages in response to forest management. We identified soil pH, forest management intensity, tree species and root nutrient contents as important drivers of the structure of root-associated fungal communities. Using stable isotopes (15NO3-15NH4+), we found that different ectomycorrhizal fungal species differed strongly in nitrogen enrichment, suggesting large differences in substrate use. Furthermore, we showed a strong impact of nitrogen concertation on the assemblages of root associated ECM, as well as saprotrophic and pathotrophic fungal communities within the Exploratories. These results suggest that fungal traits for nutrient use contribute to ecosystem dynamics.


Experimental approaches to obtain information on substrate preferences of ectomycorrhizal fungi under field conditions are scarce.  Based on the results of the previous phases, the specific aims of this project are:

  1. To dissect temporal and spatial turnover of root-associated fungal assemblages according to ecological groups (symbiotroph, saprotroph, pathotroph) and their main drivers (land use, climate, abiotic soil conditions, and root nutrients)
  2. To examine fungal traits for nutrient use by bait experiments
  3. To establish causal relationships between forest management measures (tree cutting and gap formation) between the function and composition of root-associated fungi and root nutrient physiology

To achieve these goals, we will sample roots in 150 forest plots of the Biodiversity Exploratories and use the results from 2014, 2017 and 2020 to analyse spatiotemporal variation of fungi on roots. In bait experiments, mesh containers accessible for fungal hyphae, will be supplemented with substrates and the colonising fungal community will be studied. Tree cutting affects carbon allocation to the soil. We will use the new forest experiment (tree cutting) to examine the impact of changes in root carbon physiology on the structure of associated ectomycorrhizal, saprotrophic and other fungal groups and the feedback for tree mineral nutrition. These results will contribute towards to increasing our understanding of ecosystem functioning.


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Beschreibung von EST-SSRs für die Rotbuche (Fagus sylvatica L.) und ihre Übertragbarkeit auf Fagus orientalis Lipsky, Castanea dentata Bork. und Quercus rubra L.
Burger K., Müller M., Gailing O. (2018): Characterization of EST-SSRs for European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and their transferability to Fagus orientalis Lipsky, Castanea dentata Bork., and Quercus rubra L. Silvae Genetica, 67 (1), 127-132. doi: 10.2478/sg-2018-0019
More information:  doi.org
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Goldmann K., Ammerschubert S., Pena R., Polle A., Wu B.-W., Wubet T., Buscot F. (2020): Early stage root-associated fungi show a high temporal turnover, but are independent of beech progeny. Microorganisms 8 (2), 210. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms8020210
More information:  doi.org
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Biomasse- Blattzahl- und Höhenvergleich von Rotbuchen (Fagus sylvatica L.) verschiedener Herkünfte im Biodiversitäts-Exploratorium „Schorfheide“
Hendricks J. (2018): Biomasse- Blattzahl- und Höhenvergleich von Rotbuchen (Fagus sylvatica L.) verschiedener Herkünfte im Biodiversitäts-Exploratorium „Schorfheide“. Technical report, University Göttingen
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The effects of management and soil disturbance on ectomycorhizzal communities in beech woodlands in Hainich National Park, Germany
Hughes D. (2012): The effects of management and soil disturbance on ectomycorhizzal communities in beech woodlands in Hainich National Park, Germany. Bachelorarbeit, Bangor University
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Sind die Wurzeln der Buche (Fagus sylvatica) territorial?
Lang C., Dolynska A., Finkeldey R., Polle A. (2010): Are beech (Fagus sylvatica) roots territorial? Forest Ecology and Management 260 (7), 1212-1217. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2010.07.014
More information:  doi.org
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Räumliches Muster von Ectomycorrhizagesellschaften in einem Buchenwald: Gibt es Beziehungen zwischen Pilzarten und Baumgenotyp?
Lang C., Finkeldey R., Polle A. (2013): Spatial patterns of ectomycorrhizal assemblages in a monospecific forest in relation to host tree genotype. Frontiers in Plant Science 4:103. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2013.00103
More information:  doi.org
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Einfluss verschiedener Böden auf die Stickstoffaufnahme und Struktur von symbiontischen Wurzelpilzen bei jungen Buchen
Leberecht M., Tu J., Polle A. (2016): Acid and calcareous soils affect nitrogen nutrition and organic nitrogen uptake by beech seedlings (Fagus sylvatica L.) under drought, and their ectomycorrhizal community structure. Plant and Soil 409 (1), 143–157. doi: 10.1007/s11104-016-2956-4
More information:  doi.org
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Nguyen D. Q., Pena R., Polle A. (2017): Impact of ectomycorrhizal community composition and soil treatment on inorganic nitrogen nutrition and performance of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) provenances. Trees - structure and function 31 (6), 1891–1904. doi: 10.1007/s00468-017-1594-7
More information:  doi.org
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Nguyen D. Q., Schneider D., Brinkmann N., Song B., Janz D., Schöning I., Daniel R., Pena R., Polle A. (2020): Soil and root nutrient chemistry structure root - associated fungal assemblages in temperate forests. Environmental Microbiology 22 (8), 3081-3095. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.15037
More information:  doi.org
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Nguyen Q. D. (2018): Diversity and function of root-associated fungal communities in relation to nitrogen nutrition in temperate forests. Dissertation, University Göttingen
More information:  ediss.uni-goettingen.de
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Abhängigkeit der Stickstoffaufnahme von der Baumart in der Schorfheide-Chorin
Niemeyer M. (2019): Abhängigkeit der Stickstoffaufnahme von der Baumart in der Schorfheide-Chorin. Bachelor thesis, University of Göttingen.
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Artenreichtum und funktionelle Merkmale von Mykorrhizagesellschaften in verschiedenen Regionen und Waldarten
Pena R., Lang C., Lohaus G., Boch S., Schall P., Schöning I., Ammer C., Fischer M., Polle A. (2017): Phylogenetic and functional traits of ectomycorrhizal assemblages in top soil from different biogeographic regions and forest types. Mycorrhiza 27 (3), 233–245. doi: 10.1007/s00572-016-0742-z
More information:  doi.org
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Biomasse- und Höhenvergleich von Rotbuchen (Fagus sylvatica L.) verschiedener Herkünfte im Biodiversitäts-Exploratorium „Schwäbische Alb“
Schäfer N. (2017): Biomasse- und Höhenvergleich von Rotbuchen (Fagus sylvatica L.) verschiedener Herkünfte im Biodiversitäts-Exploratorium „Schwäbische Alb“. Technical report, University Göttingen
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Schröter K. (2015): Functional diversity of mycorrhiza in relation to land-use changes and ecosystem functions. Dissertation, University Göttingen
More information:  ediss.uni-goettingen.de
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Triebkräfte für die Zusammensetzung von Pilzgemeinschaften an Wurzeln in temperaten Wäldern
Schröter K., Wemheuer B., Pena R., Schöning I., Ehbrecht M., Schall P., Ammer C., Daniel R., Polle A. (2019): Assembly processes of trophic guilds in the root mycobiome of temperate forests. Molecular Ecology 28 (2), 348-364. doi: 10.1111/mec.14887
More information:  doi.org
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Interaction of plant roots and soil fungi and their effects on soil and rhizosphere enzyme activities
Song B. (2019): Interaction of plant roots and soil fungi and their effects on soil and rhizosphere enzyme activities. Dissertation, University Göttingen
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Ektomykorrhiza-Gesellschaften im Buchenwald: Beeinflussung durch abgestorbene Wurzeln
Steckel M. (2013): Ektomykorrhiza-Gesellschaften im Buchenwald: Beeinflussung durch abgestorbene Wurzeln. Bachelor thesis, University Goettingen

Scientific assistants

Prof. Dr. Andrea Polle
Project manager
Prof. Dr. Andrea Polle
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Dr. Johannes Ballauff
Employee
Dr. Johannes Ballauff
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Dr. Christian Eckert
Employee
Dr. Christian Eckert
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Karl Kasper
Employee
Karl Kasper
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
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