Non-native tree species have been widely planted or have become naturalized in most forested landscapes. It is not clear if native trees species collectively differ in ectomycorrhizal fungal (EMF) diversity and communities from that of non-native tree species. Alternatively, EMF species community similarity may be more determined by host plant phylogeny than by whether the plant is native or non-native. We examined these unknowns by comparing two genera, native and non-native Quercus robur and Quercus rubra and native and non-native Pinus sylvestris and Pinus nigra in a 35-year-old common garden in Poland. Using molecular and morphological approaches, we identified EMF species from ectomycorrhizal root tips and sporocarps collected in the monoculture tree plots. A total of 69 EMF species were found, with 38 species collected only as sporocarps, 18 only as ectomycorrhizas, and 13 both as ectomycorrhizas and sporocarps. The EMF species observed were all native and commonly associated with a Holarctic range in distribution. We found that native Q. robur had ca. 120% higher total EMF species richness than the non-native Q. rubra, while native P. sylvestris had ca. 25% lower total EMF species richness than non-native P. nigra. Thus, across genera, there was no evidence that native species have higher EMF species diversity than exotic species. In addition, we found a higher similarity in EMF communities between the two Pinus species than between the two Quercus species. These results support the naturalization of non-native trees by means of mutualistic associations with cosmopolitan and novel fungi.
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Acknowledgments This research was made possible by Polish Science Committee grant PBZ-KBN-087/P04/2003 and grant of Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (N304 01232/ 0934). The authors would like to thank Barbara Werner for her help in field and laboratory. The authors are grateful Dr. Marek Kasprowicz and Dr. Kabir Peay for their assistance in statistics. We are cordially thankful to Dr. David M. Eissenstat, Dr. Lee E. Frelich, M. Luke McCormack, Dr. Randy Molina, and two anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful comments and suggestions.
- Closely related tree species
- Non-native tree species