- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 23163 to 23168
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Tree Communities Have Greater Soil Fungal Diversity and Relative Abundances of Saprotrophs and Pathogens than Ectomycorrhizal Tree CommunitiesDruzhinina, Irina S. (Ed.)ABSTRACT Trees associating with different mycorrhizas often differ in their effects on litter decomposition, nutrient cycling, soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics, and plant-soil interactions. For example, due to differences between arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and ectomycorrhizal (ECM) tree leaf and root traits, ECM-associated soil has lower rates of C and N cycling and lower N availability than AM-associated soil. These observations suggest that many groups of nonmycorrhizal fungi should be affected by the mycorrhizal associations of dominant trees through controls on nutrient availability. To test this overarching hypothesis, we explored the influence of predominant forest mycorrhizal type and mineral N availability on soil fungal communities using next-generation amplicon sequencing. Soils from four temperate hardwood forests in southern Indiana, United States, were studied; three forests formed a natural gradient of mycorrhizal dominance (100% AM tree basal area to 100% ECM basal area), while the fourth forest contained a factorial experiment testing long-term N addition in both dominant mycorrhizal types. We found that overall fungal diversity, as well as the diversity and relative abundance of plant pathogenic and saprotrophic fungi, increased with greater AM tree dominance. Additionally, tree community mycorrhizal associations explained more variation in fungal community composition than abiotic variables, including soilmore »
AbstractRecent work suggests mycorrhizal fungi are important drivers of soil organic matter dynamics; however, whether this is a result of the fungi themselves or related traits of their host trees remains unclear. We evaluated how tree mycorrhizal associations and foliar chemistry influence mineral-associated organic matter (MAOM) and particulate organic matter (POM) in temperate forests of northern New England, USA. We measured carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) concentrations and C:N of three soil density fractions beneath six tree species that vary in both mycorrhizal association and foliar chemistry. We found a significant decline in the concentration of MAOM C and N with increasing foliar C:N in soil beneath tree species with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM), but not ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi. The C:N of POM and MAOM was positively associated with the foliar C:N of the dominant tree species in a forest, and MAOM C:N was also higher beneath ECM- rather than AM-associated tree species. These results add to the growing body of support for mycorrhizal fungi as predictors of soil C and N dynamics, and suggest that C concentration in the MAOM fraction is more sensitive to organic matter chemistry beneath AM-associated tree species. Because MAOM decomposition is thought to be
Higher Soil Respiration Rate Beneath Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Trees in a Northern Hardwood Forest is Driven by Associated Soil PropertiesSoil respiration is the dominant pathway by which terrestrial carbon enters the atmosphere. Many abiotic and biotic processes can influence soil respiration, including soil microbial community composition. Mycorrhizal fungi are a particularly important microbial group because they are known to influence soil chemistry and nutrient cycling, and, because the type of mycorrhizal fungi in an ecosystem can be assessed based on the plant species present, they may be easier than other soil microbes to incorporate into ecosystem models. We tested how the type of mycorrhizal fungi—arbuscular (AM) or ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi—associated with the dominant tree species in a mixed hardwood forest was related to soil respiration rate. We measured soil respiration, root biomass, and surface area, and soil chemical and physical characteristics during the growing season in plots dominated by ECM-associated trees, AM-associated trees, and mixtures with both. We found rates of soil respiration that were 29% and 32% higher in AM plots than in ECM and mixed plots, respectively. These differences are likely explained by the slightly higher nitrogen concentrations and deeper organic horizons in soil within AM plots compared with soil in ECM and mixed plots. Our results highlight the importance of considering mycorrhizal associations of dominant vegetationmore »
Abstract Plant colonization of islands may be limited by the availability of symbionts, particularly arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, which have limited dispersal ability compared to ectomycorrhizal and ericoid (EEM) as well as orchid mycorrhizal (ORC) fungi. We tested for such differential island colonization within contemporary angiosperm floras worldwide. We found evidence that AM plants experience a stronger mycorrhizal filter than other mycorrhizal or non-mycorrhizal (NM) plant species, with decreased proportions of native AM plant species on islands relative to mainlands. This effect intensified with island isolation, particularly for non-endemic plant species. The proportion of endemic AM plant species increased with island isolation, consistent with diversification filling niches left open by the mycorrhizal filter. We further found evidence of humans overcoming the initial mycorrhizal filter. Naturalized floras showed higher proportions of AM plant species than native floras, a pattern that increased with increasing isolation and land-use intensity. This work provides evidence that mycorrhizal fungal symbionts shape plant colonization of islands and subsequent diversification.
Evolutionary history of plant hosts and fungal symbionts predicts the strength of mycorrhizal mutualism
Most plants engage in symbioses with mycorrhizal fungi in soils and net consequences for plants vary widely from mutualism to parasitism. However, we lack a synthetic understanding of the evolutionary and ecological forces driving such variation for this or any other nutritional symbiosis. We used meta-analysis across 646 combinations of plants and fungi to show that evolutionary history explains substantially more variation in plant responses to mycorrhizal fungi than the ecological factors included in this study, such as nutrient fertilization and additional microbes. Evolutionary history also has a different influence on outcomes of ectomycorrhizal versus arbuscular mycorrhizal symbioses; the former are best explained by the multiple evolutionary origins of ectomycorrhizal lifestyle in plants, while the latter are best explained by recent diversification in plants; both are also explained by evolution of specificity between plants and fungi. These results provide the foundation for a synthetic framework to predict the outcomes of nutritional mutualisms.