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Short-term effects of seasonal prescribed burning on the ectomycorrhizal fungal community and fine root biomass in ponderosa pine stands in the Blue Mountains of Oregon.Author(s): J.E. Smith; D. McKay; C.G. Niwa; W.G. Thies; G. Brenner; J.W. Spatafora
Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 34: 2477-2491
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
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DescriptionThe effects of seasonal prescribed fire on the belowground ectomycorrhizal community and live fine root biomass were investigated before, 1 year after, and 2 years after prescribed underburning. Ectomycorrhizas were sampled from four replications of three treatments (fall underburning, spring underburning, and a nonburned.control) in a randomized complete block design. Samples were separated in two subsamples representing the upper 5 cm and lower 5 cm of a soil core. Molecular tools were used to distinguish 140 restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) species of fungi directly from the ectomycorrhizas. Prior to underburning, the number of RFLP species and amount of live root biomass were similar among treatment units and between upper and lower core samples. Fall underburning largely removed live root biomass to a depth of 10 cm and significantly reduced ectomycorrhizai species richness compared with spring underburning and the nonbumed control for at least 2 years. RFLP species richness and live root biomass following spring underburning were generally similar to the nonbumed treatment. The successful reintroduction of fire to the ecosystem to retain high species diversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi and achieve the desired future condition of large tree ponderosa pine retention with low fuel loads may require more than underburning in a single season.
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CitationSmith, J.E.; McKay, D.; Niwa, C.G.; Thies, W.G.; Brenner, G.; Spatafora, J.W. 2004. Short-term effects of seasonal prescribed burning on the ectomycorrhizal fungal community and fine root biomass in ponderosa pine stands in the Blue Mountains of Oregon. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 34: 2477-2491
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