Fagus sylvatica seedlings show provenance differentiation rather than adaptation to soil in a transplant experiment

Manzanedo, Ruben D.; Schanz, F. R.; Fischer, Markus; Allan, Eric (2018). Fagus sylvatica seedlings show provenance differentiation rather than adaptation to soil in a transplant experiment. BMC ecology, 18(1) BioMed Central 10.1186/s12898-018-0197-5

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Understanding and predicting the response of tree populations to climate change requires understanding the pattern and scale of their adaptation. Climate is often considered the major driver of local adaptation but, although biotic factors such as soil pathogens or mutualists could be as important, their role has typically been neglected. Biotic drivers might also interact with climate to affect performance and mycorrhizae, in particular, are likely to play a key role in determining drought resistance, which is important in the context of adaptation to future environmental change. To address these questions, we performed a fully reciprocal soil–plant transplant experiment using Fagus sylvatica seedlings and soils from three regions in Germany. To separate the biotic and abiotic effects of inoculation, half of the plants were inoculated with natural soil from the different origins, while the rest were grown on sterilized substrate. We also imposed a drought stress treatment to test for interactions between soil biota and climate. After 1 year of growth, we measured aboveground biomass of all seedlings, and quantified mycorrhizal colonization for a subset of the seedlings, which included all soil–plant combinations, to disentangle the effect of mycorrhiza from other agents. Results We found that plant origin had the strongest effect on plant performance, but this interacted with soil origin. In general, trees showed a slight tendency to produce less aboveground biomass on local soils, suggesting soil antagonists could be causing trees to be maladapted to their local soils. Consistently, we found lower mycorrhizal colonization rate under local soil conditions. Across all soils, seedlings from low elevations produced more annual biomass than middle (+ 290%) and high (+ 97%) elevations. Interestingly, mycorrhizal colonization increased with drought in the two provenances that showed higher drought tolerance, which supports previous results showing that mycorrhizae can increase drought resistance. Conclusions Our findings suggest that soil communities play a role in affecting early performance of temperate trees, although this role may be smaller than that of seed origin. Also, other effects, such as the positive response to generalists or negative interactions with soil biota may be as important as the highly specialized mycorrhizal associations.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Ecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Biodiversity

UniBE Contributor:

Delgado Manzanedo, Ruben; Fischer, Markus and Allan, Eric

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

1472-6785

Publisher:

BioMed Central

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

10 Oct 2018 08:08

Last Modified:

24 Oct 2019 10:46

Publisher DOI:

10.1186/s12898-018-0197-5

Uncontrolled Keywords:

ectomycorrhizae, plant-fungal interactions, drought resistance, genetic adaptation, reciprocal transplant, soil

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.120398

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/120398

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