Ericoid mycorrhiza (ERM) are expected to facilitate establishment of ericaceous plants in harsh habitats. However, diversity and driving factors of the root-associated fungi of ericaceous plants are poorly understood. In this study, hair-root samples of Vaccinium carlesii were taken from four forest types: old growth forests (OGF), secondary forests with once or twice cutting (SEC I and SEC II), and Cunninghamia lanceolata plantation (PLF). Fungal communities were determined using high-throughput sequencing, and impacts of human disturbances and the intra- and inter-annual variability of root-associated fungal community were evaluated. Diverse fungal taxa were observed and our results showed that (1) Intra- and inter-annual changes in root-associated fungal community were found, and the Basidiomycota to Ascomycota ratio was related to mean temperature of the sampling month; (2) Human disturbances significantly affected structure of root-associated fungal community of V. carlesii, and two secondary forest types were similar in root-associated fungal community and were closer to that of the old growth forest; (3) Plant community composition, edaphic parameters, and geographic factors significantly affected root-associated fungal communities of V. carlesii. These results may be helpful in better understanding the maintenance mechanisms of fungal diversity associated with hair roots of ERM plants under human disturbances.
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