skip to main content

Title: Arbuscular mycorrhizal trees influence the latitudinal beta-diversity gradient of tree communities in forests worldwide
Abstract Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and ectomycorrhizal (EcM) associations are critical for host-tree performance. However, how mycorrhizal associations correlate with the latitudinal tree beta-diversity remains untested. Using a global dataset of 45 forest plots representing 2,804,270 trees across 3840 species, we test how AM and EcM trees contribute to total beta-diversity and its components (turnover and nestedness) of all trees. We find AM rather than EcM trees predominantly contribute to decreasing total beta-diversity and turnover and increasing nestedness with increasing latitude, probably because wide distributions of EcM trees do not generate strong compositional differences among localities. Environmental variables, especially temperature and precipitation, are strongly correlated with beta-diversity patterns for both AM trees and all trees rather than EcM trees. Results support our hypotheses that latitudinal beta-diversity patterns and environmental effects on these patterns are highly dependent on mycorrhizal types. Our findings highlight the importance of AM-dominated forests for conserving global forest biodiversity.
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; « less
Award ID(s):
1832210 1655896 1926438 1831952
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10278831
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Volume:
12
Issue:
1
ISSN:
2041-1723
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. 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 soilmore »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.« less
  2. Yavitt, Joseph B. (Ed.)
    As global change shifts the species composition of forests, we need to understand which species characteristics affect soil organic matter cycling to predict future soil carbon (C) storage. Recently, whether a tree species forms a symbiosis with arbuscular (AM) versus ectomycorrhizal (EcM) fungi has been suggested as a strong predictor of soil carbon storage, but there is wide variability within EcM systems. In this study, we investigated how mycorrhizal associations and the species composition of canopy trees and mycorrhizal fungi relate to the proportion of soil C and nitrogen (N) in mineral-associations and soil C:N across four sites representing distinct climates and tree communities in the Eastern U.S. broadleaf forest biome. In two of our sites, we found the expected relationship of declining mineral-associated C and N and increasing soil C:N ratios as the basal area of EcM-associating trees increased. However, across all sites these soil properties strongly correlated with canopy tree and fungal species composition. Sites where the expected pattern with EcM basal area was observed were 1) dominated by trees with lower quality litter in the Pinaceae and Fagaceae families and 2) dominated by EcM fungi with medium distance exploration type hyphae, melanized tissues, and the potential tomore »produce peroxidases. This observational study demonstrates that differences in soil organic matter between AM andEcM systems are dependent on the taxa of trees and EcM fungi involved. Important information is lost when the rich mycorrhizal symbiosis is reduced to two categories.« less
  3. Abstract
    Recent 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 beMore>>
  4. Soil 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 »as predictors of carbon cycling processes. Key words: Soil respiration; Mycorrhizal fungi; Carbon; Microbial activity; CO2; Northern hardwood forest.« less
  5. Understanding how environmental adaptations mediate plant and ecosystem responses becomes increasingly important under accelerating global environmental change. Multi-stemmed trees, for example, differ in form and function from single-stemmed trees and may possess physiological advantages that allow for persistence during stressful climatic events such as extended drought. Following the worst drought in Hawaii in a century, we examined patterns of stem abundance and turnover in a Hawaiian lowland dry forest (LDF) and a montane wet forest (MWF) to investigate how multi-stemmed trees might influence site persistence, and how stem abundance and turnover relate to key functional traits. We found stem abundance and multi-stemmed trees to be an important component for climate resilience within the LDF. The LDF had higher relative abundance of multi-stemmed trees, stem abundance, and mean stem abundance compared to a reference MWF. Within the LDF, multi-stemmed trees had higher relative stem abundance (i.e., percent composition of stems to the total number of stems in the LDF) and higher estimated aboveground carbon than single-stemmed trees. Stem abundance varied among species and tree size classes. Stem turnover (i.e., change in stem abundance between five-year censuses) varied among species and tree size classes and species mean stem turnover was correlated withmore »mean species stem abundance per tree. At the plot level, stem abundance per tree is also a predictor of survival, though mortality did not differ between multiple- and single-stemmed trees. Lastly, species with higher mean stem abundance per tree tended to have traits associated with a higher light-saturated photosynthetic rate, suggesting greater productivity in periods with higher water supply. Identifying the traits that allow species and forest communities to persist in dry environments or respond to disturbance is useful for forecasting ecological climate resilience or potential for restoration in tropical dry forests.« less