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Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community composition is altered by long-term litter removal but not litter addition in a lowland tropical forest

Sheldrake, Merlin; Rosenstock, Nicholas P. LU ; Revillini, Daniel; Olsson, Pål Axel LU ; Mangan, Scott; Sayer, Emma J.; Wallander, Håkan LU ; Turner, Benjamin L. and Tanner, Edmund V J (2017) In New Phytologist 214(1). p.455-467
Abstract

Tropical forest productivity is sustained by the cycling of nutrients through decomposing organic matter. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi play a key role in the nutrition of tropical trees, yet there has been little experimental investigation into the role of AM fungi in nutrient cycling via decomposing organic material in tropical forests. We evaluated the responses of AM fungi in a long-term leaf litter addition and removal experiment in a tropical forest in Panama. We described AM fungal communities using 454-pyrosequencing, quantified the proportion of root length colonised by AM fungi using microscopy, and estimated AM fungal biomass using a lipid biomarker. AM fungal community composition was altered by litter removal but not... (More)

Tropical forest productivity is sustained by the cycling of nutrients through decomposing organic matter. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi play a key role in the nutrition of tropical trees, yet there has been little experimental investigation into the role of AM fungi in nutrient cycling via decomposing organic material in tropical forests. We evaluated the responses of AM fungi in a long-term leaf litter addition and removal experiment in a tropical forest in Panama. We described AM fungal communities using 454-pyrosequencing, quantified the proportion of root length colonised by AM fungi using microscopy, and estimated AM fungal biomass using a lipid biomarker. AM fungal community composition was altered by litter removal but not litter addition. Root colonisation was substantially greater in the superficial organic layer compared with the mineral soil. Overall colonisation was lower in the litter removal treatment, which lacked an organic layer. There was no effect of litter manipulation on the concentration of the AM fungal lipid biomarker in the mineral soil. We hypothesise that reductions in organic matter brought about by litter removal may lead to AM fungi obtaining nutrients from recalcitrant organic or mineral sources in the soil, besides increasing fungal competition for progressively limited resources.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
454-sequencing, Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, Litterfall, Nutrient cycling, Organic matter, Tropical forest
in
New Phytologist
volume
214
issue
1
pages
455 - 467
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:85007518225
  • wos:000398130300041
ISSN
0028-646X
DOI
10.1111/nph.14384
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
64113535-1b96-4020-9251-7781353199b1
date added to LUP
2017-02-27 10:01:26
date last changed
2018-01-07 11:52:53
@article{64113535-1b96-4020-9251-7781353199b1,
  abstract     = {<p>Tropical forest productivity is sustained by the cycling of nutrients through decomposing organic matter. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi play a key role in the nutrition of tropical trees, yet there has been little experimental investigation into the role of AM fungi in nutrient cycling via decomposing organic material in tropical forests. We evaluated the responses of AM fungi in a long-term leaf litter addition and removal experiment in a tropical forest in Panama. We described AM fungal communities using 454-pyrosequencing, quantified the proportion of root length colonised by AM fungi using microscopy, and estimated AM fungal biomass using a lipid biomarker. AM fungal community composition was altered by litter removal but not litter addition. Root colonisation was substantially greater in the superficial organic layer compared with the mineral soil. Overall colonisation was lower in the litter removal treatment, which lacked an organic layer. There was no effect of litter manipulation on the concentration of the AM fungal lipid biomarker in the mineral soil. We hypothesise that reductions in organic matter brought about by litter removal may lead to AM fungi obtaining nutrients from recalcitrant organic or mineral sources in the soil, besides increasing fungal competition for progressively limited resources.</p>},
  author       = {Sheldrake, Merlin and Rosenstock, Nicholas P. and Revillini, Daniel and Olsson, Pål Axel and Mangan, Scott and Sayer, Emma J. and Wallander, Håkan and Turner, Benjamin L. and Tanner, Edmund V J},
  issn         = {0028-646X},
  keyword      = {454-sequencing,Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi,Litterfall,Nutrient cycling,Organic matter,Tropical forest},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {455--467},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {New Phytologist},
  title        = {Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community composition is altered by long-term litter removal but not litter addition in a lowland tropical forest},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.14384},
  volume       = {214},
  year         = {2017},
}