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Indirect host effect on ectomycorrhizal fungi: Leaf fall and litter quality explain changes in fungal communities on the roots of co-occurring Mediterranean oaks

AutorAponte, Cristina ; García, Luis V. ; Marañón, Teodoro ; Marañón, Teodoro ; Gardes, Monique
Palabras claveIndirect host effect
Mediterranean forest
Path analysis
Quercus suber (cork oak)
Quercus canariensis (Algerian oak)
Resupinate fungi
Tree-soil-fungi interactions
Fecha de publicaciónabr-2010
CitaciónSoil Biology & Biochemistry 42(5): 788-796 (2010)
ResumenHost trees can modify their soil abiotic conditions through their leaf fall quality which in turn may influence the ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal community composition. We investigated this indirect interaction using a causal modelling approach. We identified ECM fungi on the roots of two coexisting oak species growing in two forests in southern Spain e Quercus suber (evergreen) and Quercus canariensis (winter deciduous)-using a PCR-based molecular method. We also analysed the leaf fall, litter and soil sampled beneath the tree canopies to determine the concentrations of key nutrients. The total mycorrhizal pool was comprised of 69 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Tomentella and Russula were the most species-rich, frequent and abundant genera. ECM fungi with epigeous and resupinate fruiting bodies were found in 60% and 34% of the identified mycorrhizas, respectively. The calcium content of litter, which was significantly higher beneath the winter-deciduous oak species due to differences in leaf fall quality, was the most important variable for explaining ECM species distribution. The evaluation of alternative causal models by the d-sep method revealed that only those considering indirect leaf fallmediated host effects statistically matched the observed covariation patterns between host, environmen (litter, topsoil, subsoil) and fungal community variables.
Descripción9 pages, 4 tables, 3 figures, 63 references. We thank the Consejería de Medio Ambiente (Andalusian Government) and Marco Antonio Tena, then Director of Los Alcornocales Natural Park, for the facilities and support to carry out our field work. We are grateful to Nacho Pérez-Ramos, Ana Pozuelos, María Navarro, Eduardo Gutiérrez, Sophie Manzi and Juliet Rochet for field and lab assistance.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2010.01.014
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