Comparing Ectomycorrhizal Communities of Understory Giant Chinquapin (Chrysolepis chrysophylla) and Overstory Pinaceae Trees in a Mixed Conifer Forest in Central Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/mk61rk278

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  • Giant chinquapin (Chrysolepis chrysophylla) is an evergreen hardwood often found as a shrubby understory component of coniferous forests in the Pacific Northwest United States. Due to its ability to sprout quickly after disturbances such as fire and logging it is often viewed as a pest by forest managers. Like its associated overstory conifers, giant chinquapin forms ectomycorrhizae. However, the ectomycorrhizal fungus communities associated with giant chinquapin found in the Pacific Northwest have not been investigated. To further explore giant chinquapin's ecological roles in central Oregon's forests we compare ectomycorrhizal communities associated with giant chinquapin and co-occurring overstory Pinaceae trees in the Pringle Falls Experimental Forest, central Oregon. Ectomycorrhizal communities of Pinaceae trees had a greater taxa richness than those found associated with giant chinquapin. However, 57% (8 of 14) of the taxa found in 31% (5/16) of study areas on Pinaceae trees were found associated with giant chinquapin. Four taxa (Cenococcum geophilum 1 & 2, Piloderma 2, Byssoccorticium 1), likely important for host water and nutrient access, were found in 31% of study areas associated with both chinquapin and Pinaceae hosts. Sixty-four percent (23 of 36) of the ectomycorrhizal taxa found on giant chinquapin associated with Pinaceae trees and every genus associated with giant chinquapin in our study has been reported to form ectomycorrhizae with Pinaceae trees in this or other studies. Based on these results, it is likely that giant chinquapin is supporting a subset of the ectomycorrhizal community associated with Pinaceae hosts. Giant chinquapin, with its ability to quickly sprout after disturbance, could be beneficial to local conifer seedlings as a source of ectomycorrhizal innoculum should overstory conifers decrease as a a result of a stand replacing disturbance.
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