The functional significance of arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) and ectomycorrhiza (EcM) for Salix repens, a dual mycorrhizal plant, was investigated over three harvest periods (12, 20 and 30 weeks). Cuttings of S. repens were collected in December (low shoot P) and March (high shoot P). Glomus mosseae (an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus, AMF) resulted in low AM colonization (<5Œ but showed large short-term (<12 weeks) effects on shoot growth and root length. Hebeloma leucosarx (an ectomycorrhizal fungus, EcMF) resulted in high EcM colonization (70Œ but benefits occurred over a longer term (>12 weeks). Furthermore, G. mosseae colonization resulted in higher shoot P uptake, shoot growth, root growth and response duration for S. repens collected in December than for those collected in March, whereas with H. leucosarx and the non-mycorrhizal treatment there were no differences between cuttings collected on different dates. Low AMF colonization was effective in the short term for cuttings at both collecting dates. Low AMF colonization of S. repens occurred irrespective of the amount of AMF inoculum used. The intensities and relative amounts of AMF structures in S. repens and Trifolium repens were compared over three harvest periods (12, 20 and 30 weeks) to assess plant species effects on AM colonization patterns.