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Multi-Parks & National Forests

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In our initial survey of dispersal of spores into areas disturbed by the 1988 Huckleberry burn, in the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway, we focused on small mammal dispersal of hypogeous ectomycorrhizal fungi which had been touted as a primary means of dispersal (Trappe and Maser 1977, Ure and Maser 1982), and the recruitment and physiognomy of conifer seedlings germinating in the burned areas. Interestingly, the small mammals captured at the Huck burn sites were feeding on both epigeous and hypogeous, as well as, mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal fungi. The seedlings that had germinated in the burned areas were non-mycorrhizal until late in the season. These results are somewhat contradictory to hypotheses offered in the literature. For these reasons, additional objectives, such as including both hypogeous and epigeous ectomycorrhizal fungi, were established to examine the process of ectomycorrhizal colonization more closely.