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Robert T Brown, Peitsa Mikola

The influence of fruticose soil lichens upon the mycorrhizae and seedling growth of forest trees

Brown R.T., Mikola P. (1974). The influence of fruticose soil lichens upon the mycorrhizae and seedling growth of forest trees. Acta Forestalia Fennica no. 141 article id 7575. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7575

Abstract

Water extracts of six common soil lichens, Cladonia alpestris, C. rangiferina, C. arbuscula (sylvatica), C. pleurota, Cetraria islandica, Stereocaulon paschale, inhibited growth of ectomycorrhizae of Pinus sylvestris (L.). Of 17 fungi (12 mycorrhizal) tested, many were inhibited while others were scarcely influenced or even occasionally stimulated by the extracts. Cladonia alpestris extract inhibited most fungi while C. rangiferina showed much less influence.

In pure culture synthesis experiments, 32P uptake of Pinus sylvestris was significantly reduced by C. alpestris extract. Different species of fungi showed widely variant abilities to pick up 32 P. in nursery experiments, much more vigorous growth of P. sylvestris and Picea abies (L.) H. Karst. was obtained on plots without C. alpestris than on paired plots covered with it. Betula verrucosa (B. pendula Roth) showed no difference. Under natural forest conditions, P. sylvestris seedlings grow much more rapidly where C. alpestris had been eliminated by road building or reindeer grazing than do seedlings only one meter distant under undisturbed C. alpestris cover. It is suggested that by properly controlled reindeer grazing, establishment and early growth of P. sylvestris on Cladonia sites can be much enhanced. By the time that C. alpestris could become re-established the pine seedlings would have grown large enough to suffer little from reindeer grazing. This study shows the continuity of the major components of the forest tundra biome – the dependence of pines, mycorrhizae, lichens, and reindeer and their predators (human or otherwise) upon each other for a healthy existence.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.

Keywords
lichens; Cladonia alpestris; Cladonia rangiferina; Cladonia arbuscula; Cladonia pleurota; Cetraria islandica; Stereocaulon paschale; growth inhibition; Scots pine; Pinus sylvestris; Picea abies; Norway spruce; Betula pendula; regeneration

Published in 1974

Available at https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7575 | Download PDF

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