Ectomycorrhizas of Mongolian boreal forests

Burenjargal Otgonsuren
Burenjargal Otgonsuren
Mongolia
project abstract

The boreal forests of Mongolia are on the southern edge of the Taiga and form a transition to the forest-steppe biome. The forests are composed of mainly Siberian larch (Larix sibirica), Siberian pine (Pinus sibirica), Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), Japanese white pine (Betula platyphylla) and Siberian spruce (Picea obovate), and experience extremely low winter temperatures with deep soil freezing, and are strongly limited by precipitation.

There are few published investigations of ectomycorrhizal communities in Mongolian forests, however it is known from investigations in other biomes that some of the tree genera have narrow range ectomycorrhizal taxa. In this project we will investigated the ectomycorrhizal communities in mixed and single species forests of in the Bogd Khan protected area, in Umnudelger, Binder soum, Khentii province, and in the Burkhan Khaldun World Heritage Site. Whereas the Bogd Khan protected area is close to Ulaanbaatar, the Burkhan Khaldun World Heritage Site is a remote pristine area. At these sites, we will collect soils and fine roots, and assess the ectomycorrhizal community in soils using metagenomics. The ectomycorrhizal community on fine roots will be assessed by morphotyping the ectomycorrhizas, and the final identification using DNA sequences. We predict and in these extreme conditions a number of unique ectomycorrhizal taxa will be identified. The project will be carried out at the Mongolian University of Life Sciences, and at the Institute of Forest Ecology at BOKU, Vienna.