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Forests 2018, 9(9), 575; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090575

Comparison of Root Surface Enzyme Activity of Ericaceous Plants and Picea abies Growing at the Tree Line in the Austrian Alps

1
Institute of Forest Ecology, Universität für Bodenkultur (BOKU), Peter Jordan Strasse 82, 1190 Vienna, Austria
2
CAS Key Laboratory of Mountain Ecological Restoration and Bioresource Utilization & Ecological Restoration and Biodiversity Conservation Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
3
Department of Ecology, Mongolian University of Life Science, Zaisan 17024, Mailbox 57, Khan-Uul District, Ulaanbaator 17024, Mongolia
4
School of Forestry, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
5
Global Change Research Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Department of Landscape Carbon Deposition, Na Sádkách 7, 37005 Ceské Budejovice, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 17 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Ecology of Fine Roots and Mycorrhizas in Forests)
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Abstract

Plants with ericoid mycorrhizal and ectomycorrhizal associations coexist at the tree line and in many boreal forests. Both ericoid mycorrhizal and ectomycorrhizal roots are known to produce extracellular enzymes, but ericoid mycorrhizal fungi have been demonstrated in vitro to have higher enzyme activities. On hair roots of four ericoid mycorrhizal species (Rhododendron ferrugineum, Vaccinium vitis-idaea, Vaccinium myrtillus, Calluna vulgaris) and on ectomycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal root tips of Picea abies growing at the tree line (1700 m) in the Austrian Alps, potential activities of eight extracellular root enzymes were estimated. Our results show that the activities of all the different extracellular root enzymes were generally similar among the ericaceous plant species. The mean laccase enzyme activity of ectomycorrhizal root tips of Picea abies was significantly higher than that of both the hair roots and fine roots of the ericaceous species. Leucine-amino-peptidase activity on hair roots was significantly higher than on non-mycorrhizal fine roots for the ericaceous vegetation. However, the mean activity of β-glucuronidase of the ericaceous species was significantly higher in fine roots compared to the hair roots. Generally extracellular root enzyme activity is not higher on ericaceous roots compared to ectomycorrhizas of Picea abies. View Full-Text
Keywords: Picea abies; ericaceous species; ericoid mycorrhizas; ectomycorrhizas; extracellular root enzyme activity; tree line Picea abies; ericaceous species; ericoid mycorrhizas; ectomycorrhizas; extracellular root enzyme activity; tree line
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Wang, L.; Otgonsuren, B.; Duan, W.; Godbold, D. Comparison of Root Surface Enzyme Activity of Ericaceous Plants and Picea abies Growing at the Tree Line in the Austrian Alps. Forests 2018, 9, 575.

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