Temporally variable geographical distance effects contribute to the assembly of root-associated fungal communities

Article English OPEN
Barnes, Christopher James ; van der Gast, Christopher J. ; Burns, Caitlin A. ; McNamara, Niall P. ; Bending, Gary D. (2016)
  • Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
  • Journal: volume 7 (issn: 1664-302X, eissn: 1664-302X)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC4766365, doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00195
  • Subject: root-associated fungi | /dk/atira/pure/researchoutput/pubmedpublicationtype/D016428 | soil fungi | temporal variation in microbial communities | Microbiology | mycorrhizal fungi | Original Research | Biology and Microbiology | QK | Journal Article | fungal ecology | Ecology and Environment

Root-associated fungi are key contributors to ecosystem functioning, however, the factors which determine community assembly are still relatively poorly understood. This study simultaneously quantified the roles of geographical distance, environmental heterogeneity and time in determining root-associated fungal community composition at the local scale within a short rotation coppice (SRC) willow plantation. Culture independent molecular analyses of the root-associated fungal community suggested a strong but temporally variable effect of geographical distance among fungal communities in terms of composition at the local geographical level. Whilst these distance effects were most prevalent on October communities, soil pH had an effect on structuring of the communities throughout the sampling period. Given the temporal variation in the effects of geographical distance and the environment for shaping root-associated fungal communities, there is clearly need for a temporal component to sampling strategies in future investigations of fungal ecology.\ud
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