Non-symbiotic soil microbes are more strongly influenced by altered tree biodiversity than arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi during initial forest establishment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

While the relationship between plant and microbial diversity has been well studied in grasslands, less is known about similar relationships in forests, especially for obligately symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. To assess the effect of varying tree diversity on microbial alpha- and beta-diversity, we sampled soil from plots in a high-density tree diversity experiment in Minnesota, USA, 3 years after establishment. About 3 of 12 tree species are AM hosts; the other 9 primarily associate with ectomycorrhizal fungi. We used phospho- and neutral lipid fatty acid analysis to characterize the biomass and functional identity of the whole soil bacterial and fungal community and high throughput sequencing to identify the species-level richness and composition of the AM fungal community. We found that plots of differing tree composition had different bacterial and fungal communities; plots with conifers, and especially Juniperus virginiana, had lower densities of several bacterial groups. In contrast, plots with a higher density or diversity of AM hosts showed no sign of greater AM fungal abundance or diversity. Our results indicate that early responses to plant diversity vary considerably across microbial groups, with AM fungal communities potentially requiring longer timescales to respond to changes in host tree diversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberfiz134
JournalFEMS microbiology ecology
Volume95
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the US National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research Program (LTER) [DEB-0620652 and DEB-1234162]. Further support was provided by the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve and the University of Minnesota. J.J.G. was supported by fellowships from the Crosby, Rothman, Wilkie, Anderson and Dayton Funds; the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship; and the department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, all at the University of Minnesota, and by a visiting fellowship at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. A.J.B was supported through a NASA Innovations in Climate Education—Tribal grant [NNH13ZHA002N].

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the US National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research Program(LTER) [DEB-0620652 and DEB-1234162]. Further support was provided by the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve and the University of Minnesota. J.J.G. was supported by fellowships from the Crosby, Rothman,Wilkie, Anderson and Dayton Funds; the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship; and the department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, all at the University of Minnesota, and by a visiting fellowship at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. A.J.B was supported through a NASA Innovations in Climate Education-Tribal grant [NNH13ZHA002N].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 FEMS 2019.

Keywords

  • Gymnosperms
  • IDENT
  • Juniperus virginiana
  • PLFA
  • biodiversity-ecosystem functioning
  • highthoughput sequencing

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