Ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF) form a mutualistic symbiosis with host plants by increasing plants’ uptake of nutrients and water. Many tree seedlings are dependent on EMF for successful establishment in nutrient poor areas, such as wetlands. It was hypothesized that EMF morphotype diversity should decrease as the larch saplings get closer to the center of the bog. Larix laricina was chosen as the EMF host of choice due to its abundance in wetlands around Cranberry Lake. Three sample sites were used and a total of nine trees were sampled from three transect lines at each site. The sites were Forsaith’s Bog, Lost Pond Bog, and an unnamed fen. The distances used consisted of trees from the upland-wetland boundary, trees from the wetland interior, and an intermediate zone. These sites were selected because they possessed abundant stands of Larix laricina and met the DBH requirement of our transects. Twenty root tips were taken from each host sapling. EMFs were classified based on morphological features. EMF diversity was calculated for each tree. A regression analysis on the relationship between distance and diversity of morphotypes showed no significant difference (p=0.051). ANOVA analysis revealed no significant difference between the three sites (p=0.060).
Hermanson, Max; Weckel, Silus; Kozisky, Alex; and Kozlowski, Kyle, "Session D, 2017 First Place: Under the Sphagnum: An Observational Analysis of the Relationship Between Distance and Ectomycorrhizal Morphotype Diversity in Larix laricina Within Wetland Ecosystems" (2017). Cranberry Lake Biological Station. 27.