|dc.description.abstract||Aboveground and belowground ectomycorrhizal (ECM) communities associated with different age classes of the exotic plantation species Pinus radiata were investigated over the course of two years in the North Island of New Zealand. ECM species were identified with a combined approach of morphological and molecular (restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and DNA sequencing) analysis.
ECM species richness and diversity of a nursery in Rotorua, and stands of different ages (1, 2, 8, 15 and 26 yrs of age at time of final assessment) in Kaingaroa Forest, were assessed above- and belowground; furthermore, the correlation between the above- and belowground ECM communities was assessed. It was found that the overall and stand specific species richness and diversity of ECM fungi associated with the exotic host tree in New Zealand were low compared to similar forests in the Northern Hemisphere but similar to other exotic plantations in the Southern Hemisphere. Over the course of this study, 18 ECM species were observed aboveground and 19 ECM species belowground. With the aid of molecular analysis the identities of Laccaria proxima and Inocybe sindonia were clarified. In the aboveground study, five species were found associated with P. radiata that were previously not reported with this host in New Zealand (Inocybe sindonia, Lactarius rufus, Lycoperdon gunii, Rhizopogon pseudoroseolus and Wilcoxina mikolae). Belowground, the species Psudotomentella sp., P. tristis, R. luteorubescens, Tomentella sp., Wilcoxina mikolae were found as new associates of P. radiata in New Zealand, additionally nine ECM types were found that could not be identified with molecular analysis. There was little correlation between the species fruiting and the species colonising root tips. Only seven species were found in common between the above- and belowground communities, furthermore the dominant species aboveground were not observed in the belowground ECM communities.
The influence of host age on the above- and belowground ECM communities of different age classes of P. radiata plantations was investigated. The aboveground species richness increased from the nursery to the oldest age group investigated (26 yrs), while diversity increased to the 15 yr old age group and decreased slightly to the oldest stand. A clear sequence of ECM species changes was observed to be related to stand age with a growing complexity over the chronosequence. The belowground ECM communities showed a different picture and richness and diversity initially decreased from the nursery to the outplanting but increased thereafter. Belowground no change in ECM composition that was directly related to the age of the host was observed, but two distinct groups of ECM species were found – a 'young' and a 'plantation forest' group, with the respective discriminating species being Rhizopogon rubescens and Type unknown Basidiomycete/Amanita muscaria.
Another aspect of the study was the fate of the nursery ECM species in the outplanting and the arrival of non-nursery species. The ECM communities of seedlings in the nursery were investigated in 2006 and these seedlings were followed up over eight assessments in the field for one year, furthermore data from the 1-, 2 and 8 yr old plantation stands was analysed. It was found that the nursery species do survive the first year of outplanting and are dominant in the first year. The first non-nursery species occurred six months after outplanting but was only in minor abundance. Nursery ECM were dominant for two years after the seedlings were planted, and were completely replaced after seven years. Rhizopogon rubescens was found to be the most persistent and dominant species in the outplanting, facilitating the successful establishment of the seedlings in the plantation forest.||en