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Harvard Forest Data Archive


Ectomycorrhizal Community of Red Oak at Harvard Forest 2013

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  • Lead: Rosanne Healy, Gregory Bonito, Matthew Smith
  • Investigators: Faye Rosin
  • Contact: Information Manager
  • Start date: 2013
  • End date: 2013
  • Status: complete
  • Location: Harvard Forest, Arnold Arboretum (Jamaica Plain MA)
  • Latitude: +42.508 to +42.542 degrees
  • Longitude: -72.198 to -71.189 degrees
  • Elevation: 52 to 420 meter
  • Datum: WGS84
  • Taxa: Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Quercus rubra (northern red oak)
  • Release date: 2023
  • Language: English
  • EML file: knb-lter-hfr.273.5
  • DOI: digital object identifier
  • EDI: data package
  • DataONE: data package
  • Related links:
  • Study type: short-term measurement
  • Research topic: biodiversity studies; regional studies
  • LTER core area: primary production, disturbance patterns
  • Keywords: fungi, mycorrhizae, oak, roots
  • Abstract:

    There is evidence that ectomycorrhizal Pezizales prevail on roots at woodland edges or habitats where trees are well spaced, and where there is minimal understory vegetation, soil pH is relatively high, and bare soil is a feature. This observation was repeated in a recent study of mitospores produced by these fungi, where they were found most often at woodland edges, road sides, the middle of paths, and lawns. A key feature that distinguishes Basidiomycota from Ascomycota is that the dikaryon necessary for sexual reproduction is generally formed early after spore germination in the former, but not until fruitbody formation in the latter. Our hypothesis is that the mitospores produced by ectomycorrhizal Pezizales act as spermatia, and that these spores are more effectively produced and dispersed from bare soil than from areas with a thick organic layer. Here we tested our hypothesis by comparing the community of ectomycorrhizal root fungi on red oak trees in Harvard Forest and the Arnold Arboretum.

  • Methods:

    (1) Roots were sampled from a 10 x 10 x 15 cm soil core from 24 red oak trees in each site.

    (2) DNA from sporocarps and from 32 root tips from at least three roots from each tree was extracted, and distinct morphotypes included. Cenococcum has distinctive morphology, and when observed on root tips was excluded from the study in order to focus on Pezizales vs Basidiomycota.

    (3) Extracts were amplified using Sigma Extract ‘n Amp with ITS1f /ITS4 primers.

    (4) Amplicons were sequenced using the same primers, and resulting sequences Blasted in NCBI to ascertain identity based on greater than 97% similarity of ITS.

    (5) A t-test was conducted to calculate significance of differences between the richness and abundance of Pezizales ectomycorrhizal root tips as compared to Basidiomycota in both sites.

  • Organization: Harvard Forest. 324 North Main Street, Petersham, MA 01366, USA. Phone (978) 724-3302. Fax (978) 724-3595.

  • Project: The Harvard Forest Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program examines ecological dynamics in the New England region resulting from natural disturbances, environmental change, and human impacts. (ROR).

  • Funding: National Science Foundation LTER grants: DEB-8811764, DEB-9411975, DEB-0080592, DEB-0620443, DEB-1237491, DEB-1832210.

  • Use: This dataset is released to the public under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (No Rights Reserved). Please keep the dataset creators informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset should include proper acknowledgement.

  • License: Creative Commons Zero v1.0 Universal (CC0-1.0)

  • Citation: Healy R, Bonito G, Smith M. 2023. Ectomycorrhizal Community of Red Oak at Harvard Forest 2013. Harvard Forest Data Archive: HF273 (v.5). Environmental Data Initiative:

Detailed Metadata

hf273-01: ectomycorrhiza

  1. date.harvest: date ectomycorrhiza roots were harvested
  2. site: site in Harvard Forest
  3. tree.acc.num: tree accession number
  4. host.seq: host tree sequenced from the roots
  5. date.sort: date roots were sorted
  6. number of the root lateral (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  7. cluster: number of the root clusters (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  8. morphotype: short ectomycorrhiza root morphotype description
  9. notes.core: notes from the core sampling
  10. notes.root: notes on other root tips present
  11. extraction tube number for sequencing of root tips
  12. blast: closest BLAST match of ectomycorrhiza sequence followed by closest sporocarp blast match
  13. lat: latitude
  14. long: longitude
  15. canopy: other trees in the canopy besides red oak