Do shared traits create the same fates? Examining the link between morphological type and the biogeography of fungal and bacterial communities

S. Caroline Daws, Lauren A. Cline, John Rotenberry, Michael J. Sadowsky, Christopher Staley, Brent Dalzell, Peter G. Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although it has been commonly observed that fungi and bacteria differ in their regional biogeographic patterns, it is not well understood what traits contribute to these different distributions. Here, we evaluate how morphological type (i.e. unicellular or filamentous growth form) influences the biogeography of soil fungal and bacterial communities across not only Euclidean (i.e. geographic) distances, but also across gradients of climate and edaphic factors and plant community composition. Specifically, we assessed the decay in community similarity over distance (distance-decay relationship) for microbes with unicellular and filamentous morphology in both fungi and bacteria across 40 ecologically diverse sampling sites in Minnesota, USA. Overall, we found that while distance-decay relationships were similar in fungal and bacterial communities over Euclidean distances, there were important differences among morphological groups of fungi and bacteria across gradients of environmental and plant community similarity. Specifically, the distance-decay relationship of unicellular fungi and unicellular bacteria were indistinguishable across environmental similarity. However, as plant community similarity decreased, only filamentous fungi and unicellular bacteria differed significantly in the strength of their distance-decay relationships. Like analyses of other study systems, we also found that pH explained much of the variance in community composition across microbial domains and morphological types and that plant community diversity was more closely correlated with fungal diversity than with bacterial diversity. Collectively, our results suggest that specific ecological traits such as morphological type along with microbial domain are key factors shaping the biogeography of microbial communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100948
JournalFungal Ecology
Volume46
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Peggy Booth of the Minnesota DNR Scientific and Natural Areas Program for facilitating access to sites. Comments from members of the Kennedy and Peay labs as well as Tadashi Fukami and Erin Mordecai were immensely helpful in improving previous versions of the manuscript. SCD was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (DGE – 1656518 ). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Funding Information:
We thank Peggy Booth of the Minnesota DNR Scientific and Natural Areas Program for facilitating access to sites. Comments from members of the Kennedy and Peay labs as well as Tadashi Fukami and Erin Mordecai were immensely helpful in improving previous versions of the manuscript. SCD was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (DGE ? 1656518). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd and British Mycological Society

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Community turnover
  • Filamentous
  • Microbe
  • Regional scale
  • Unicellular

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