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The effect of mechanical site preparation on ectomycorrhizae of planted white spruce seedlings in conifer-dominated boreal mixedwood forest

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We characterized the ectomycorrhizae (ECM) of planted white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) seedlings as affected by mechanical site preparation (MSP) of clear-cut conifer-dominated boreal mixedwood forest. Relative abundance, richness, and composition of the ECM community were compared among untreated control, mixed, mounded, and scalped site preparation treatments. On >11000 root tips, we observed 16 ECM morphotypes. Those common to the nursery in which the seedlings were raised were most abundant (Thelephora americana, Wilcoxina-like (E-strain), Amphinema byssoides, Phialocephala-like (MRA)). Seedlings in the untreated controls had lower abundances of these, but higher abundances of other ECM, which were not present in the nursery of origin but were indigenous to these forest stands. In terms of ECM composition, the “mixed” treatment was most similar to the untreated control, while the “scalped” and “mound” treatments showed significantly different ECM communities than the controls. Our results suggest that MSP may facilitate continued dominance by ECM that establish on seedlings in the nursery while slowing the natural succession towards the natural forest ECM. MSP treatments that leave some surface organic matter relatively intact may impact ECM less than those that remove or bury the organic layer.

Nous avons caractérisé les ectomycorhizes (ECM) de plants d’épinette blanche (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) affectés par la préparation mécanisée de terrain (PMT) à la suite d’une coupe à blanc dans une forêt mixte dominée par des résineux. L’abondance relative, la richesse et la composition de la communauté d’ECM a été comparée entre un témoin non traité et des traitements de préparation de terrain mixtes, d’aménagement de buttes et de scalpage. Nous avons observé 16 morphotypes d’ECM sur plus de 11000 apex racinaires. Ceux qui étaient communs dans la pépinière où les semis avaient été produits étaient les plus abondants (Thelephora americana, le type Wilcoxina (souche E), Amphinema byssoides, le type Phialocephala (MRA)). L’abondance de ces ECM était plus faible chez les semis des témoins non traités qui comportaient, cependant, une plus forte abondance d’autres ECM qui n’étaient pas présentes dans la pépinière d’origine, mais qui étaient indigènes à ces peuplements forestiers. En termes de composition en ECM, le traitement mixte était le plus semblable au témoin non traité alors que le scalpage et l’aménagement de buttes étaient associés à des communautés d’ECM significativement différentes de celle du témoin. Nos résultats indiquent que la PMT peut faciliter le maintien de la dominance des ECM établies sur les plants en pépinière tout en ralentissant la succession naturelle vers les ECM de la forêt naturelle. Les traitements de PMT qui laissent des superficies relativement intactes de matière organique peuvent avoir moins d’impact sur les ECM que ceux qui enlèvent ou enfouissent la couche de matière organique.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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