Neighboring trees affect ectomycorrhizal fungal community composition in a woodland-forest ecotone

Nathaniel A. Hubert, Catherine A Gehring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF) are frequently species rich and functionally diverse; yet, our knowledge of the environmental factors that influence local EMF diversity and species composition remains poor. In particular, little is known about the influence of neighboring plants on EMF community structure. We tested the hypothesis that the EMF of plants with heterospecific neighbors would differ in species richness and community composition from the EMF of plants with conspecific neighbors. We conducted our study at the ecotone between pinyon (Pinus edulis)-juniper (Juniperus monosperma) woodland and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forest in northern Arizona, USA where the dominant trees formed associations with either EMF (P. edulis and P. ponderosa) or arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF; J. monosperma). We also compared the EMF communities of pinyon and ponderosa pines where their rhizospheres overlapped. The EMF community composition, but not species richness of pinyon pines was significantly influenced by neighboring AM juniper, but not by neighboring EM ponderosa pine. Ponderosa pine EMF communities were different in species composition when growing in association with pinyon pine than when growing in association with a conspecific. The EMF communities of pinyon and ponderosa pines were similar where their rhizospheres overlapped consisting of primarily the same species in similar relative abundance. Our findings suggest that neighboring tree species identity shaped EMF community structure, but that these effects were specific to host-neighbor combinations. The overlap in community composition between pinyon pine and ponderosa pine suggests that these tree species may serve as reservoirs of EMF inoculum for one another.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-374
Number of pages12
JournalMycorrhiza
Volume18
Issue number6-7
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2008

Fingerprint

fungal communities
ecotones
ecotone
Pinus ponderosa
community composition
woodlands
woodland
Fungi
fungus
fungi
Juniperus
Juniperus monosperma
Pinus edulis
species diversity
Pinus
Rhizosphere
Forests
rhizosphere
community structure
species richness

Keywords

  • Community dynamics
  • Ectomycorrhizal fungi
  • Mycorrhizal network
  • Plant neighbor
  • Species composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Neighboring trees affect ectomycorrhizal fungal community composition in a woodland-forest ecotone. / Hubert, Nathaniel A.; Gehring, Catherine A.

In: Mycorrhiza, Vol. 18, No. 6-7, 09.2008, p. 363-374.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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