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Citation for Study 1953

About Citation title: "Mycorrhizal interactions of orchids colonizing Estonian mine tailings hills".
About This study was previously identified under the legacy study ID S1935 (Status: Published).


Shefferson R., Kull T., & Tali K. 2007. Mycorrhizal interactions of orchids colonizing Estonian mine tailings hills. American Journal of Botany, null.


  • Shefferson R.
  • Kull T.
  • Tali K.


Northeastern Estonia is home to extensive oil shale mines. Associated with these are desolate and environmentally damaging hills of ash tailings. Interestingly, some of the first plants to colonize these hills are rare orchids. Here, we assess the identities of the fungi mycorrhizal with these orchids, in particular Epipactis atrorubens, Orchis militaris, and Dactylorhiza baltica, and compare them with mycorrhizal interactions from orchids from pristine habitat. Epipactis atrorubens associated with the widest breadth of fungi, including unnamed members of the basidiomycete family Tulasnellaceae and the potentially ectomycorrhizal ascomycetes Trichophaea woolhopeia and Geopora cooperi. Orchis militaris also associated with unnamed members of the Tulasnellaceae. Dactylorhiza baltica associated with Ceratobasidium albasitensis. In Epipactis and Orchis, the same fungi associated with plants in pristine habitat as with those on ash hills. The tulasnelloid and ceratobasidioid fungi mycorrhizal with these orchids appear closely related to common orchid mycorrhizal fungi, while one of the ascomycetes mycorrhizal with Epipactis atrorubens is closely related to a fungus mycorrhizal with Epipactis microphylla. We suggest further research to assess whether mycorrhizal fungi provide orchids with greater tolerance to potentially toxic soil conditions, thus aiding in primary succession.

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