Protozoan communities around conifer roots colonized by ectomycorrhizal fungi

  • Ingham E
  • Massicotte H
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Protozoan communities around roots with different types of
ectomycorrhizae were distinct. These protozoan communities differed
both qualitatively and quantitatively with the host (Pinus ponderosa,
Pseudotsuga menziesii, Picea sitchensis, Tsuga heterophylla and Abies
grandis) and the ectomycorrhizal fungal species. Based on the species
identified and the numbers of individuals of each species, six
communities of protozoa were found associated with specific
ectomycorrhizae. Previous researchers have shown that mycorrhizal
colonization of roots alters the amounts and types of exudates produced
by roots, which in turn alters the bacterial community present. Most
likely, mycorrhizal colonization of roots influences the protozoan
community around roots by controlling the bacterial community. However,
the protozoan community may in turn influence the successional dynamics
of ectomycorrhizal fungi on different host root systems by a variety of
mechanisms. These mechanisms could include: (1) preying upon
individuals and perhaps removing particular species of bacteria from the
mycorrhizosphere; and (2) controlling nitrogen mineralization in the
rhizosphere. Further work needs to be performed to determine the
interaction between these quadrate (plant-bacteria-fungi-protozoa)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • Ectomycorrhizal fungi Douglas fir
  • Microbial ecology
  • Protozoa

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