Interaction of ectomycorrhiza and beech along a land use gradient

Duration of the project: 2014 - 2017

Contact: Quang Dung Nguyen, Email: dnguyen(at)

Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) roots are colonized by ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF) which are considered to play an important role in plant N supply. However, the importance of EMF diversity for host N uptake is not well understood. To study the relationship between EMF diversity and beech nutrition, experiments are conducted under greenhouse and field conditions.
The objectives of this PhD study are: to investigate ectomycorrhizal diversity associated with roots of beech progenies; to assess the performance and N uptake of beech progenies; and to understand the molecular mechanism of beech-EMF interaction for function of beech nitrogen supply.
To address these questions, we set up a greenhouse experiment, in which we manipulated the diversity of the EMF community of the host plants and studied N uptake of beech by 15N labelling. To investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying the variation in N uptake, field studies in the framework of the Biodiversity Exploratories ( using the Beech transplantation experiment are conducted. Differentially expressed genes will be identified and their expression will be tested along the experimental plots of the Biodiversity Exploratories.

Root sampling in beech forests, Schorfheide.

Publications and Dissemination

Nguyen DQ, Pena R, Polle A (2016) Ammonium and nitrate uptake of beech progenies from the Exploratories as affected by ectomycorrhizal diversity. 13th Assembly of the Biodiversity Exploratories, Wernigerode, Germany (16-19 Feb 2016)

Nguyen DQ, Pena R, Polle A (2015) Beech performance and nitrogen uptake in response to soil fungal inoculation. GFÖ 2015: Ecology for a sustainable future, Göttingen, Germany (31 Aug-4 Sep 2015)

Nguyen DQ, Ammerschubert S, Pena R, Polle A (2015) Performance of beech as affected by soil fungi. 12th Assembly of the Biodiversity Exploratories, Wernigerode, Germany (17-20 Feb 2015)

Nguyen DQ, Ammerschubert S, Schröter K, Polle A (2016) Diversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi in relation to land-use changes and ecosystem functions. 13th Assembly of the Biodiversity Exploratories, Wernigerode, Germany (16-19 Feb 2016)

Funding acknowledgement

The work has been funded partly by the DFG Priority Program 1374 "Infrastructure-Biodiversity-Exploratories" (DFG-PO362/18-3) and by a scholarship awarded by Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam (MARD).