Sick plants in grassland communities: a growth‐defense trade‐off is the main driver of fungal pathogen abundance

Cappelli, Seraina L.; Pichon, Noémie A.; Kempel, Anne; Allan, Eric (2020). Sick plants in grassland communities: a growth‐defense trade‐off is the main driver of fungal pathogen abundance. Ecology Letters, 23(9), pp. 1349-1359. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing 10.1111/ele.13537

[img] Text
2020_EcolLett.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (1MB) | Request a copy

Aboveground fungal pathogens can substantially reduce biomass production in grasslands. However, we lack a mechanistic understanding of the drivers of fungal pathogen infection and impact. Using a grassland global change and biodiversity experiment we show that the trade-off between plant growth and defense is the main determinant of infection incidence. In contrast, nitrogen addition only indirectly increased incidence via shifting plant communities towards faster growing species. Plant diversity did not decrease incidence, likely because spillover of generalist pathogens or dominance of susceptible plants counteracted negative diversity effects. A fungicide treatment increased plant biomass production and high levels of infection incidence were associated with reduced biomass. However, pathogen impact was context dependent and infection incidence reduced biomass more strongly in diverse communities. Our results show that a growth-defense trade-off is the key driver of pathogen incidence, but pathogen impact is determined by several mechanisms and may depend on pathogen community composition.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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:

Cappelli, Seraina Lisa; Pichon, Noémie Anna; Kempel, Anne Sybille and Allan, Eric

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

1461-023X

Publisher:

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

16 Jun 2020 09:13

Last Modified:

11 Aug 2020 01:32

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/ele.13537

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Biodiversity experiment; functional traits; fungal exclusion experiment; fungal pathogen; growth-defense trade-off; nitrogen enrichment

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.144394

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/144394

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback