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Drivers of soil fungal communities in boreal forests

feedbacks on soil fertility and decomposition

Sterkenburg, Erica (2016). Drivers of soil fungal communities in boreal forests. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2016:24
ISBN 978-91-576-8550-6
eISBN 978-91-576-8551-3
[Doctoral thesis]

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Boreal forests harbour diverse fungal communities with decisive roles in decomposition and plant nutrition. Difficulties in studying soil fungi have limited knowledge about how fungal communities are shaped. The objective of this thesis was to study factors influencing soil fungal communities, aiming for increased understanding of their effect on environmental processes.

Using next generation sequencing, responses of fungal communities to their physical-chemical environment, and responses of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi to logging, were investigated. In a trenching experiment, this technology, combined with measurements of decomposition and vertical nitrogen distribution, enabled evaluation of direct and indirect involvement of ECM fungi in humus decomposition.

Fungal community composition was found to be significantly related to soil fertility, with ascomycetes dominating in less fertile forests, whereas basidiomycetes increased under more fertile conditions. ECM fungi were found to more or less disappear with complete clear-cutting and reestablishment of ECM diversity took several decades. However, a clear positive relationship between the amount of retention trees and ECM fungal species richness and abundance was found. By excluding ECM fungi, nitrogen limitation of saprotrophic fungi was released, increasing litter decomposition rates. However, this effect was overshadowed by an almost complete loss of oxidative enzyme activities in deeper humus layers, associated with removal of ECM fungi by trenching.

Our results indicate ECM fungi to be the principal decomposers of boreal forest humus layers. This, together with the predictability of soil fungal communities, reinforces the importance and ability of integrating rhizosphere microorganisms, in particular ECM fungi, in forest ecosystem models.

Authors/Creators:Sterkenburg, Erica
Title:Drivers of soil fungal communities in boreal forests
Subtitle:feedbacks on soil fertility and decomposition
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2016
Depositing date:17 February 2016
Number of Pages:62
IWallander, H., Johansson, U., Sterkenburg, E., Brandström Durling M., Lindahl, B.D. (2010) Production of ectomycorrhizal mycelium peaks during canopy closure in Norway spruce forests. New Phytologist. 187, pp. 1124-1134.
IISterkenburg, E., Bahr, A., Brandström Durling, M., Clemmensen, K.E., Lindahl, B.D. (2015) Changes in fungal communities along a boreal forest soil fertility gradient. New Phytologist. 207, pp. 1145-1158.
IIISterkenburg, E., Clemmensen, K.E., Lindahl, B.D., Dahlberg, A. The significance of retention trees for ectomycorrhizal fungi in managed Scots pine forests. Manuscript.
IVSterkenburg, E., Clemmensen, K.E., Ekblad, A., Finlay, R.D., Lindahl, B.D. Ectomycorrhizal fungi drive long-term humus decomposition but restrain short-term litter decomposition. Manuscript.
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-8550-6
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-8551-3
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:K Forestry > K01 Forestry - General aspects
P Natural resources > P34 Soil biology
P Natural resources > P35 Soil fertility
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Microbiology (Microbiology in the medical area to be 30109)
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Soil Science
Agrovoc terms:boreal forests, mycorrhizae, soil fungi, plant communities, soil fertility, ergosterol, degradation, roots, forest management
Keywords:Mycorrhiza, Fungal communities, High-throughput sequencing, Ecosystem fertility, Forestry, Decomposition, Tree-retention, Gadgil effect, Ergosterol
Permanent URL:
ID Code:13074
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology
(S) > Dept. of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology
External funders:FORMAS and Skogssällskapet and Sveaskog
Deposited By: Erica Sterkenburg
Deposited On:19 Feb 2016 09:58
Metadata Last Modified:10 Sep 2020 13:41

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