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

Sheldrake, Merlin and Rosenstock, Nicholas P. and Revillini, Daniel and Olsson, Pal Axel and Mangan, Scott and Sayer, Emma Jane and Wallander, Hakan and Turner, Benjamin L. and Tanner, Edmund V.J. (2017) Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community composition is altered by long-term litter removal but not litter addition in a lowland tropical forest. New Phytologist, 214 (1). pp. 455-467. ISSN 0028-646X

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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 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.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
New Phytologist
Additional Information:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Sheldrake, M., Rosenstock, N. P., Revillini, D., Olsson, P. A., Mangan, S., Sayer, E. J., Wallander, H., Turner, B. L. and Tanner, E. V. J. (2017), Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community composition is altered by long-term litter removal but not litter addition in a lowland tropical forest. New Phytol, 214: 455–467. doi:10.1111/nph.14384 which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nph.14384/abstract This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700
Subjects:
ID Code:
83809
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
05 Jan 2017 10:22
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
01 Oct 2020 01:50