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A functional approach to explore the drivers of mycorrhizal trait variability in Mediterranean plant communities

AuthorsNavarro-Fernández, Carmen M. ; Pérez-Ramos, Ignacio Manuel ; Riva, E. G. de la; Vera Marañón, J. R.; Roumet, Catherine; Villar Montero, Rafael; Marañón, Teodoro
KeywordsArbuscular mycorrhiza
Community-weighted means
Leaf traits
Mycorrhizal traits
Plant species turnover
Root traits
Soil copper
Soil moisture
Issue Date31-Jan-2017
AbstractMycorrhizal symbiosis may be critical under stressful conditions, especially in Mediterranean forests constrained by water stress and resource scarcity. This study is particularly novel due to the use of a community-level, trait-based approach to explore the drivers of mycorrhizal trait variability in nine Mediterranean plant communities of south Spain distributed along a gradient of soil resources. Thus, we explored how the degrees of colonization by ectomycorrhizal (ECM) and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi (including AM vesicles) were related to other root and leaf traits associated with the use of soil resources. Moreover, we identified the main abiotic factors driving this mycorrhizal trait variability. And finally, we explored if the variability of community mycorrhization was due to plant species turnover or intraspecific differences among the selected sampling sites. Our results showed that ECM colonization was positively related to the abundance of evergreen species and to tissue dry matter content (in leaves and roots), but negatively to specific root length and specific leaf area. The best abiotic predictor of ECM colonization was soil moisture, with higher ECM colonization in drier sites. However, AM colonization was not related to any of the plant traits studied and was positively related to soil Cu and other physico-chemical soil properties. Changes in community mycorrhization were primarily due to plant species turnover with a remarkable importance of plant intraspecific variability in the case of AM colonization (especially in vesicles). The proposed mycorrhizal trait-based approach could be useful to integrate the influence of mycorrhizal associations on plant community functioning.
DescriptionPoster presented at XIV MEDECOS & XIII AEET meeting. Human driven scenarios for evolutionary and ecological changes. 31th january - 4th February 2017
DOIDoi.: 10.7818/MEDECOSandAEETCongress.2017
Appears in Collections:(IRNAS) Comunicaciones congresos
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