Soil Layers Matter: Vertical Stratification of Root-Associated Fungal Assemblages in Temperate Forests Reveals Differences in Habitat Colonization

2021 | journal article; research paper. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Soil Layers Matter: Vertical Stratification of Root-Associated Fungal Assemblages in Temperate Forests Reveals Differences in Habitat Colonization​
Khokon, A. M.; Schneider, D.; Daniel, R. & Polle, A.​ (2021) 
Microorganisms9(10) pp. 2131​.​ DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9102131 

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Authors
Khokon, Anis Mahmud; Schneider, Dominik; Daniel, Rolf; Polle, Andrea
Abstract
Ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic fungi play pivotal roles in ecosystem functioning. Here, we studied the vertical differentiation of root-associated fungi (RAF) in temperate forests. We analysed RAF assemblages in the organic and mineral soil from 150 experimental forest plots across three biogeographic regions spanning a distance of about 800 km. Saprotrophic RAF showed the highest richness in organic and symbiotrophic RAF in mineral soil. Symbiotrophic RAF exhibited higher relative abundances than saprotrophic fungi in both soil layers. Beta-diversity of RAF was mainly due to turnover between organic and mineral soil and showed regional differences for symbiotrophic and saprotrophic fungi. Regional differences were also found for different phylogenetic levels, i.e., fungal orders and indicator species in the organic and mineral soil, supporting that habitat conditions strongly influence differentiation of RAF assemblages. Important exceptions were fungal orders that occurred irrespective of the habitat conditions in distinct soil layers across the biogeographic gradient: Russulales and Cantharellales (ectomycorrhizal fungi) were enriched in RAF assemblages in mineral soil, whereas saprotrophic Polyporales and Sordariales and ectomycorrhizal Boletales were enriched in RAF assemblages in the organic layer. These results underpin a phylogenetic signature for niche partitioning at the rank of fungal orders and suggest that RAF assembly entails two strategies encompassing flexible and territorial habitat colonization by different fungal taxa.
Ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic fungi play pivotal roles in ecosystem functioning. Here, we studied the vertical differentiation of root-associated fungi (RAF) in temperate forests. We analysed RAF assemblages in the organic and mineral soil from 150 experimental forest plots across three biogeographic regions spanning a distance of about 800 km. Saprotrophic RAF showed the highest richness in organic and symbiotrophic RAF in mineral soil. Symbiotrophic RAF exhibited higher relative abundances than saprotrophic fungi in both soil layers. Beta-diversity of RAF was mainly due to turnover between organic and mineral soil and showed regional differences for symbiotrophic and saprotrophic fungi. Regional differences were also found for different phylogenetic levels, i.e., fungal orders and indicator species in the organic and mineral soil, supporting that habitat conditions strongly influence differentiation of RAF assemblages. Important exceptions were fungal orders that occurred irrespective of the habitat conditions in distinct soil layers across the biogeographic gradient: Russulales and Cantharellales (ectomycorrhizal fungi) were enriched in RAF assemblages in mineral soil, whereas saprotrophic Polyporales and Sordariales and ectomycorrhizal Boletales were enriched in RAF assemblages in the organic layer. These results underpin a phylogenetic signature for niche partitioning at the rank of fungal orders and suggest that RAF assembly entails two strategies encompassing flexible and territorial habitat colonization by different fungal taxa.
Issue Date
2021
Journal
Microorganisms 
Organization
Fakultät für Forstwissenschaften und Waldökologie ; Büsgen-Institut ; Abteilung Forstbotanik und Baumphysiologie 
eISSN
2076-2607
Language
English
Sponsor
Open-Access-Publikationsfonds 2021

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