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Seasonal Distribution of Ectomycorrhizae in a Mature Douglas-fir/Larch Forest Soil in Western Montana

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Counts of individual ectomycorrhizal root tips from random soil core samples showed that the greatest number occurred during May and June in the organic soil fractions. Soil humus provided the major substrate for ectomycorrhizae throughout the year except during July and August. During this drier period, more active ectomycorrhizal tips occurred in the decayed soil wood. Moisture levels were higher in the decayed wood than the humus at that time. Decayed wood may serve a critical role in supporting ectomycorrhizae in the soils of mature Douglas-fir/larch forests, particularly during periods of limited moisture availability. Forest Sci. 24:203-208.

Keywords: Soil microbiology; charcoal; decayed wood; humus; moisture availability; mycorrhizae; prescribed fire; residue; water relations; wildfire

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Mycologist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Center for Forest Mycology Research, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin 53705

Publication date: June 1, 1978

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