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A mycorrhizal fungus, Cortinarius favrei, grows among associated plant species in the Alaskan tundra.

Cortinarius favrei grows in the midst of dwarf birch (Betula sp.), Salix sp., Vaccinium sp., and Eriophorum sp. in the Alaskan tundra. The fruiting body (mushroom) of C. favrei is visible in the center of the photograph. When soil nitrogen is limited, most terrestrial plants develop symbiotic associations with mycorrhizal fungi. The plants receive soil nitrogen taken up the fungi, and in return the fungi receive sugars from the plants. At the Arctic LTER site, isotopic measurements indicate that mycorrhizal fungi functionally similar to C. favrei contribute 60-90% of their host plant’s nitrogen while receiving 8-16% of carbon fixed by plants during photosynthesis. This photograph originally appeared on the cover of Ecology (87:4) in April of 2006.
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Primary or BEN resource type
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords fungus, mycorrhizae, mycrrhizal fungus, symbiosis, mutualism, nitrogen, carbon, nutrient, limitation, tundra, arctic, Alaska, Arctic LTER
Key taxa Cortinarius favrei, dwarf birch, Salix, Vaccinium, Eriophorum
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Description This photograph could be used to illustrate a fungus, mycorrhizal fungi, mutualistic species interactions, or a plant community on the arctic tundra.
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation Marine Biological Laboratory, The Ecosystems Center
Primary Author email
Rights Copyright 2006 by the Ecological Society of America.
Date Of Record Submission 2008-04-07

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