Consequences of liming on the ectomycorrhizal community structure and functioning in the Vosges forests

Abstract : Liming is a forestry practice consisting in Ca and Mg amendment used to correct tree cation deficiency induced by soil acidity. Ectomycorrhizae (ECM) provides the tree with nutrients derived both from mineral and organic sources. The ECM community structure and functioning is closely linked to soil nutrient availability, which is considerably modified by liming. The aims of this study were to assess, in declining beech and spruce stands, the impact of liming on ECM community structure and functioning, and to determine if ECMs take part in the improvement of tree mineral nutrition. Results showed that liming was the second factor of sporocarp community structuration after tree host. Liming also decreased the abundance of ECM tips of acidophilic morphotypes and induced the dominance of more ubiquist ones (Clavulina cristata for spruce, Lactarius subdulcis for beech). These morphotypes were confined in the organomineral layer and specialized in the potential secretion of glucuronidase and laccase, respectively. For beech, liming significantly increased the potential oxalate secretion by ECMs, which highly depends on the activity of Lactarius subdulcis. This morphotype is thus suspected to play an important role in mineral weathering, all the more that it accumulated more nutrients in its mantle in the limed plots. Qualitative comparison of liming effects on soil properties, ECM community functioning and beech nutrition showed that ECMs, especially a single morphotype as Lactarius subdulcis, can play an important part in the improvement of tree health, especially concerning Ca and Mg uptake. Liming effects appeared to be site-specific depending on the soil fertility.
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François Rineau. Consequences of liming on the ectomycorrhizal community structure and functioning in the Vosges forests. Agricultural sciences. Université Henri Poincaré - Nancy 1, 2008. English. ⟨NNT : 2008NAN10142⟩. ⟨tel-01748349⟩

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