Our currently FSP funded research is showing that linkage into a common mycorrhizal network (CMN) with residual trees is important to the establishment of Douglas-fir seedlings in the interior dry Douglas-fir forests. A CMN is an underground network of genetically compatible mycorrhizal fungi linking roots of trees of the same or different species. The CMN associated with residual trees in cutover or burned areas appears to facilitate new regeneration by providing mycorrhizal inoculum, carbon, and water from the mature trees. This project examines the spatial extent and genetic structure of common mycorrhizal networks (CMNs) in dry Douglas-fir forests. The information derived from this project will apply directly to the sustainability program, under the theme of ecosystem structure, function and processes, and biodiversity related to forest management (theme 1), the topic of effectiveness of stand level structures in maintaining biodiversity (topic 1.4), priority c (appropriate targets and configurations of stand level structures in dry forests for maintaining biodiversity). Specifically, we will characterize the spatial extent, structure, and genetics of CMNs linking overstory Douglas-fir trees with understory cohorts in mature and old-growth forests. This information will be used to determine target sizes and configurations of green tree patches that should be retained following disturbance (e.g., partial cutting, salvage logging following wildfire) in order to conserve the ability of the ecosystems to regenerate and hence develop into healthy stand structures. We will contrast CMNs between two soil moisture regimes within the dry, cool biogeoclimatic subzone (IDFdk) of southern interior British Columbia for three: (1) to provide site series specific guidelines; (2) to test whether the importance of CMN facilitation increases with site water stress, and (3) to use soil moisture regime as a proxy for changes in site water stress and regeneration potential with climate change.
Simard, Suzanne W., Durall, Daniel M.. 2007. Determining stand level structures in dry Douglas-fir forests that maintain appropriate levels of ectomycorrhizal genetic diversity to facilitate Douglas-fir regeneration. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2007MR328
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), Ectomycorrhizas, British, Columbia
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