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Complex effects of mammalian grazing on extramatrical mycelial biomass in the Scandes forest-tundra ecotone
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Terrestrial Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; Center for Permafrost, Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4384-5014
Department of Organismal Biology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; Department of Botany, Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.
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2018 (English)In: Ecology and Evolution, ISSN 2045-7758, E-ISSN 2045-7758, Vol. 8, no 2, p. 1019-1030Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mycorrhizal associations are widespread in high-latitude ecosystems and are potentially of great importance for global carbon dynamics. Although large herbivores play a key part in shaping subarctic plant communities, their impact on mycorrhizal dynamics is largely unknown. We measured extramatrical mycelial (EMM) biomass during one growing season in 16-year-old herbivore exclosures and unenclosed control plots (ambient), at three mountain birch forests and two shrub heath sites, in the Scandes forest-tundra ecotone. We also used high-throughput amplicon sequencing for taxonomic identification to investigate differences in fungal species composition. At the birch forest sites, EMM biomass was significantly higher in exclosures (1.36 +/- 0.43g C/m(2)) than in ambient conditions (0.66 +/- 0.17g C/m(2)) and was positively influenced by soil thawing degree-days. At the shrub heath sites, there was no significant effect on EMM biomass (exclosures: 0.72 +/- 0.09g C/m(2); ambient plots: 1.43 +/- 0.94). However, EMM biomass was negatively related to Betula nana abundance, which was greater in exclosures, suggesting that grazing affected EMM biomass positively. We found no significant treatment effects on fungal diversity but the most abundant ectomycorrhizal lineage/cortinarius, showed a near-significant positive effect of herbivore exclusion (p=.08), indicating that herbivory also affects fungal community composition. These results suggest that herbivory can influence fungal biomass in highly context-dependent ways in subarctic ecosystems. Considering the importance of root-associated fungi for ecosystem carbon balance, these findings could have far-reaching implications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2018. Vol. 8, no 2, p. 1019-1030
Keywords [en]
Betula nana, Betula pubescens subsp, czerepanovii, ectomycorrhiza, extramatrical mycelia, herbivory, mountain birch forest, shrub heath
National Category
Environmental Sciences Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-65647DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3657ISI: 000425822800019PubMedID: 29375775Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85038005177OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-65647DiVA, id: diva2:1189563
Note

Funding Agencies:

Eesti Teadusfondi  PUT1317 

Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning 214-2010-1411

Available from: 2018-03-12 Created: 2018-03-12 Last updated: 2018-03-12Bibliographically approved

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Ekblad, Alf

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