Ectomycorrhizae are mutualistic structures formed by fungi and the roots of forest trees. They are predominantly found in the temperate and boreal climate zones but occur also in humid tropic regions, as well as in soils of poor nutrition. Without mycorrhizae, trees would not be able to take up water and minerals. Ectomycorrhizae show a wide range of anatomical diversity which represents their possible function in tree nutrition and ecology. Their anatomical data, in general, allow a quick determination and provide at the same time ecologically important information about possible functions for tree nutrition.

DEEMY was started in 1996 (see history). It is collecting descriptive data on ectomycorrhizae. The data are stored in DiversityDescriptions, a modul of the Diversity Workbench. The online output of the database offers definitions of the descriptors (characters) of ectomycorrhizae used, morphological descriptions of the ectomycorrhizae, original hand drawings and photographs as well as an interactive multi-access key. Currently, DEEMY is comprising about 320 types of ectomycorrhizae characterized by 420 often multi-state characters. It includes nearly 850 drawings of characters and 120 images of ectomycorrhizae. For references see DALI.

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