Lower relative abundance of ectomycorrhizal fungi under a warmer and drier climate is linked to enhanced soil organic matter decomposition

Querejeta, José Ignacio; Schlaeppi, Klaus; López‐García, Álvaro; Ondoño, Sara; Prieto, Iván; van der Heijden, Marcel G.A.; Alguacil, María del Mar (2021). Lower relative abundance of ectomycorrhizal fungi under a warmer and drier climate is linked to enhanced soil organic matter decomposition. New Phytologist, 232(3), pp. 1399-1413. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/nph.17661

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The aboveground impacts of climate change receive extensive research attention, but climate change could also alter belowground processes such as the delicate balance between free-living fungal decomposers and nutrient-scavenging mycorrhizal fungi that can inhibit decomposition through a mechanism called the Gadgil effect.

We investigated how climate change-induced reductions in plant survival, photosynthesis and productivity alter soil fungal community composition in a mixed arbuscular/ectomycorrhizal (AM/EM) semiarid shrubland exposed to experimental warming (W) and/or rainfall reduction (RR). We hypothesized that increased EM host plant mortality under a warmer and drier climate might decrease ectomycorrhizal fungal (EMF) abundance, thereby favouring the proliferation and activity of fungal saprotrophs.

The relative abundance of EMF sequences decreased by 57.5% under W+RR, which was accompanied by reductions in the activity of hydrolytic enzymes involved in the acquisition of organic-bound nutrients by EMF and their host plants. W+RR thereby created an enhanced potential for soil organic matter (SOM) breakdown and nitrogen-mineralization by decomposers, as revealed by 127-190% increases in dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen, respectively, and decreasing SOM content in soil.

Climate aridification impacts on vegetation can cascade belowground through shifts in fungal guild structure that alter ecosystem biogeochemistry and accelerate SOM decomposition by reducing the Gadgil effect.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Biotic Interactions
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Schläppi, Klaus Bernhard

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0028-646X

Publisher:

Wiley-Blackwell

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

12 Aug 2021 08:09

Last Modified:

05 Aug 2022 00:25

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/nph.17661

Related URLs:

PubMed ID:

34342894

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Mixed arbuscular/ectomycorrhizal (AM/EM) ecosystems; fungal functional guilds; Gadgil effect; mycorrhizal nutrient economy; dissolved organic carbon, dissolved nitrogen; extracellular hydrolytic soil enzymes

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/157965

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/157965

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