Ectomycorrhizal fungal exoenzyme activity differs on spruce seedlings planted in forests versus clearcuts

Jennifer K. M. Walker*, Valerie Ward, Melanie D. Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal community composition is altered by forest harvesting, but it is not clear if this shift in structure influences ECM fungal physiological function at the community level. In this study, we characterized activities of extracellular enzymes in the ectomycorrhizospheres of Picea engelmannii seedlings grown in forest and clearcut plots. These exoenzymes are critical for the breakdown of large organic molecules, from which nutrients are subsequently absorbed and translocated by ECM fungi to host plants. We found that ectomycorrhizae on seedlings planted in forests had different exoenzyme activity profiles than those on seedlings planted in clearcuts. Specifically, the activities of glucuronidase, laccase, and acid phosphatase were higher on forest seedlings (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-508
Number of pages12
JournalTrees-Structure and function
Issue number2
Early online date8 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016
Event6th International Symposium on Physiological Processes in Roots of Woody Plants - Nagoya, Japan
Duration: 1 Sep 2014 → …


  • Exoenzyme assay
  • Ectomycorrhizal physiology
  • Functional complementarity and redundancy
  • Picea engelmannii
  • Bioassay seedling
  • Clearcut harvesting
  • Community structure
  • British-Columbia
  • Enzyme-activity
  • Soil
  • Diversity
  • Microorganisms
  • Phosphatase
  • Stands


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