Do fungal pathogens drive density-dependent mortality in established seedlings of two dominant African rain forest trees?

Norghauer, Julian Martin; Newbery, David McClintock; Tedersoo, Leho; Chuyong, George (2010). Do fungal pathogens drive density-dependent mortality in established seedlings of two dominant African rain forest trees? Journal of Tropical Ecology, 26(3), pp. 293-301. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 10.1017/S0266467410000076

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Where one or a few tree species reach local high abundance, different ecological factors may variously facilitate or hinder their regeneration. Plant pathogens are thought to be one of those possible agents which drive intraspecific density-dependent mortality of tree seedlings in tropical forests. Experimental evidence for this is scarce, however. In an African rain forest at Korup, we manipulated the density of recently established seedlings (~5–8 wk old; low vs. high-density) of two dominant species of contrasting recruitment potential, and altered their exposure to pathogens using a broad-spectrum fungicide. Seedling mortality of the abundantly recruiting subcanopy tree Oubanguia alata was strongly density-dependent after 7 mo, yet fungicide-treated seedlings had slightly higher mortality than controls. By contrast, seedling mortality of the poorly recruiting large canopy-emergent tree Microberlinia bisulcata was unaffected by density or fungicide. Ectomycorrhizal colonization of M. bisulcata was not affected by density or fungicide either. For O. alata, adverse effects of fungicide on its vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizas may have offset any possible benefit of pathogen removal. We tentatively conclude that fungal pathogens are not a likely major cause of density dependence in O. alata, or of early post-establishment mortality in M. bisulcata. They do not explain the latter's currently very low recruitment rate at Korup.

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) > Vegetation Ecology [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Norghauer, Julian Martin and Newbery, David McClintock

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0266-4674

Publisher:

Cambridge University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:18

Last Modified:

25 Oct 2019 05:56

Publisher DOI:

10.1017/S0266467410000076

Web of Science ID:

000277483200005

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.5370

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/5370 (FactScience: 210110)

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