- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Journal of biogeography
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- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Aim: Roots and rhizospheres host diverse microbial communities that can influence the fitness, phenotypes, and environmental tolerances of host plants. Documenting the biogeography of microbiomes can detect the potential for a changing environment to disrupt host-microbe interactions, particularly in cases where microbes, such as root-associated Ascomycota, buffer hosts against abiotic stressors. We evaluated whether root-associated fungi had poleward declines in diversity as occur for many animals and plants, tested whether microbial communities shifted near host plant range edges, and determined the relative importance of latitude, climate, edaphic factors, and host plant traits as predictors of fungal community structure. Location: North American plains grasslands Taxon: Foundation North American grass species ⎯ Andropogon gerardii, Bouteloua eriopoda, B. gracilis, B. dactyloides, and Schizachyrium scoparium and their root-associated fungi Methods: At each of 24 sites representing three replicate latitudinal gradients spanning 17° latitude, we collected roots from 12 individual plants per species along five transects spaced 10 m apart (40 m × 40 m grid). We used next-generation sequencing of the fungal ITS2 region, direct fungal culturing from roots, and microscopy to survey fungi associated with grass roots. Results: Root-associated fungi did not follow the poleward declines in diversity documented for many animals and plants. Instead, host plant identity had the largest influence on fungal community structure. Edaphic factors outranked climate or host plant traits as correlates of fungal community structure; however, the relative importance of these environmental predictors differed among plant species. As sampling approached host species range edges, fungal composition converged among individual plants of each grass species. Main conclusions: Environmental predictors of root-associated fungi depended strongly on host plant species identity. Biogeographic patterns in fungal composition suggested a homogenizing influence of stressors at host plant range limits. Results predict that communities of non-mycorrhizal, root-associated fungi in the North American plains will be more sensitive to future changes in host plant ranges and edaphic factors than to the direct effects of climate.more » « less
Druzhinina, 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 soil depth, SOM content, nitrification rate, and mineral N availability. Our findings suggest that tree mycorrhizal associations may be good predictors of the diversity, composition, and functional potential of soil fungal communities in temperate hardwood forests. These observations help explain differing biogeochemistry and community dynamics found in forest stands dominated by differing mycorrhizal types. IMPORTANCE Our work explores how differing mycorrhizal associations of temperate hardwood trees (i.e., arbuscular [AM] versus ectomycorrhizal [ECM] associations) affect soil fungal communities by altering the diversity and relative abundance of saprotrophic and plant-pathogenic fungi along natural gradients of mycorrhizal dominance. Because temperate hardwood forests are predicted to become more AM dominant with climate change, studies examining soil communities along mycorrhizal gradients are necessary to understand how these global changes may alter future soil fungal communities and their functional potential. Ours, along with other recent studies, identify possible global trends in the frequency of specific fungal functional groups responsible for nutrient cycling and plant-soil interactions as they relate to mycorrhizal associations.more » « less
Efforts to predict the responses of soil fungal communities to climate change are hindered by limited information on how fungal niches are distributed across environmental hyperspace. We predict the climate sensitivity of North American soil fungal assemblage composition by modelling the ecological niches of several thousand fungal species.
One hundred and thirteen sites in the United States and Canada spanning all biomes except tropical rain forest.
Major Taxa Studied
We combine internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences from two continental‐scale sampling networks in North America and cluster them into operational taxonomic units (OTUs) at 97% similarity. Using climate and soil data, we fit ecological niche models (ENMs) based on logistic ridge regression for all OTUs present in at least 10 sites (
n= 8597). To describe the compositional turnover of soil fungal assemblages over climatic gradients, we introduce a novel niche‐based metric of climate sensitivity, the Sørensen climate sensitivity index. Finally, we map climate sensitivity across North America. Results
ENMs have a mean out‐of‐sample predictive accuracy of 73.8%, with temperature variables being strong predictors of fungal distributions. Soil fungal climate niches clump together across environmental space, which suggests common physiological limits and predicts abrupt changes in composition with respect to changes in climate. Soil fungi in North American climates are more likely to be limited by cold and dry conditions than by warm and wet conditions, and ectomycorrhizal fungi generally tolerate colder temperatures than saprotrophic fungi. Sørensen climate sensitivity exhibits a multimodal distribution across environmental space, with a peak in climates corresponding to boreal forests.
The boreal forest occupies an especially precarious region of environmental space for the composition of soil fungal assemblages in North America, as even small degrees of warming could trigger large compositional changes characterized mainly by an influx of warm‐adapted species.
Roots and rhizospheres host diverse microbial communities that can influence the fitness, phenotypes, and environmental tolerances of plants. Documenting the biogeography of these microbiomes can detect the potential for a changing environment to disrupt host‐microbe interactions, particularly in cases where microbes buffer hosts against abiotic stressors. We evaluated whether root‐associated fungi had poleward declines in diversity, tested whether fungal communities in roots shifted near host plant range edges, and determined the relative importance of environmental and host predictors of root fungal community structure.
North American plains grasslands.
Foundation grasses –
Andropogon gerardii, Bouteloua dactyloides, B. eriopoda, B. gracilis,and Schizachyrium scopariumand root fungi. Methods
At each of 24 sites representing three replicate 17°–latitudinal gradients, we collected roots from 12 individuals per species along five transects spaced 10 m apart (40 m × 40 m grid). We used next‐generation sequencing of ITS2, direct fungal culturing from roots, and microscopy to survey fungi associated with grass roots.
Root‐associated fungi did not follow the poleward declines in diversity documented for many animals and plants. Instead, host plant identity had the largest influence on fungal community structure. Edaphic factors outranked climate or host plant traits as correlates of fungal community structure; however, the relative importance of environmental predictors differed among plant species. As sampling approached host species range edges, fungal composition converged in similarity among individual plants of each grass species.
Environmental predictors of root‐associated fungi depended strongly on host plant species identity. Biogeographic patterns in fungal composition suggested a homogenizing influence of stressors at host plant range limits. Results predict that communities of non‐mycorrhizal, root‐associated fungi in the North American plains will be more sensitive to future changes in host plant ranges and edaphic factors than to the direct effects of climate.
Extratropical cyclones develop in regions of enhanced baroclinicity and progress along climatological storm tracks. Numerous studies have noted an influence of terrestrial snow cover on atmospheric baroclinicity. However, these studies have less typically examined the role that continental snow cover extent and changes anticipated with anthropogenic climate change have on cyclones’ intensities, trajectories, and precipitation characteristics. Here, we examined how projected future poleward shifts in North American snow extent influence extratropical cyclones. We imposed 10th, 50th, and 90th percentile values of snow retreat between the late 20th and 21st centuries as projected by 14 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase Five (CMIP5) models to alter snow extent underlying 15 historical cold-season cyclones that tracked over the North American Great Plains and were faithfully reproduced in control model cases, providing a comprehensive set of model runs to evaluate hypotheses. Simulations by the Advanced Research version of the Weather Research and Forecast Model (WRF-ARW) were initialized at four days prior to cyclogenesis. Cyclone trajectories moved on average poleward (μ = 27 +/− σ = 17 km) in response to reduced snow extent while the maximum sea-level pressure deepened (μ = −0.48 +/− σ = 0.8 hPa) with greater snow removed. A significant linear correlation was observed between the area of snow removed and mean trajectory deviation (r2 = 0.23), especially in mid-winter (r2 = 0.59), as well as a similar relationship for maximum change in sea-level pressure (r2 = 0.17). Across all simulations, 82% of the perturbed simulation cyclones decreased in average central sea-level pressure (SLP) compared to the corresponding control simulation. Near-surface wind speed increased, as did precipitation, in 86% of cases with a preferred phase change from the solid to liquid state due to warming, although the trends did not correlate with the snow retreat magnitude. Our results, consistent with prior studies noting some role for the enhanced baroclinity of the snow line in modulating storm track and intensity, provide a benchmark to evaluate future snow cover retreat impacts on mid-latitude weather systems.more » « less