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Reindeer control over subarctic treeline alters soil fungal communities with potential consequences for soil carbon storage

Ylanne, Henni and Madsen, Rieke L. and Castaño Soler, Carles and Metcalfe, Daniel B. and Clemmensen, Karina Engelbrecht (2021). Reindeer control over subarctic treeline alters soil fungal communities with potential consequences for soil carbon storage. Global Change Biology. 27 , 4254-4268
[Research article]

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Abstract

The climate-driven encroachment of shrubs into the Arctic is accompanied by shifts in soil fungal communities that could contribute to a net release of carbon from tundra soils. At the same time, arctic grazers are known to prevent the establishment of deciduous shrubs and, under certain conditions, promote the dominance of evergreen shrubs. As these different vegetation types associate with contrasting fungal communities, the belowground consequences of climate change could vary among grazing regimes. Yet, at present, the impact of grazing on soil fungal communities and their links to soil carbon have remained speculative. Here we tested how soil fungal community composition, diversity and function depend on tree vicinity and long-term reindeer grazing regime and assessed how the fungal communities relate to organic soil carbon stocks in an alpine treeline ecotone in Northern Scandinavia. We determined soil carbon stocks and characterized soil fungal communities directly underneath and >3 m away from mountain birches (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii) in two adjacent 55-year-old grazing regimes with or without summer grazing by reindeer (Rangifer tarandus). We show that the area exposed to year-round grazing dominated by evergreen dwarf shrubs had higher soil C:N ratio, higher fungal abundance and lower fungal diversity compared with the area with only winter grazing and higher abundance of mountain birch. Although soil carbon stocks did not differ between the grazing regimes, stocks were positively associated with root-associated ascomycetes, typical to the year-round grazing regime, and negatively associated with free-living saprotrophs, typical to the winter grazing regime. These findings suggest that when grazers promote dominance of evergreen dwarf shrubs, they induce shifts in soil fungal communities that increase soil carbon sequestration in the long term. Thus, to predict climate-driven changes in soil carbon, grazer-induced shifts in vegetation and soil fungal communities need to be accounted for.

Authors/Creators:Ylanne, Henni and Madsen, Rieke L. and Castaño Soler, Carles and Metcalfe, Daniel B. and Clemmensen, Karina Engelbrecht
Title:Reindeer control over subarctic treeline alters soil fungal communities with potential consequences for soil carbon storage
Series Name/Journal:Global Change Biology
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:27
Page range:4254-4268
Number of Pages:15
Publisher:WILEY
ISSN:1354-1013
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:Arctic shrubification, Betula pubescens ssp, czerepanovii, fungal community, grazing, ITS2, Rangifer tarandus, subarctic tundra, tree-line
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112596
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112596
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1111/gcb.15722
Web of Science (WoS)000661100400001
ID Code:24997
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology
(S) > Dept. of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:24 Aug 2021 09:25
Metadata Last Modified:24 Aug 2021 09:31

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