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Fungal-fungal and fungal-bacterial interactions in aquatic decomposer communities: bacteria promote fungal diversity

Baudy, Patrick and Zubrod, Jochen P. and Konschak, Marco and Kolbenschlag, Sara and Pollitt, Annika and Baschien, Christiane and Schulz, Ralf and Bundschuh, Mirco (2021). Fungal-fungal and fungal-bacterial interactions in aquatic decomposer communities: bacteria promote fungal diversity. Ecology. 102 , e03471
[Research article]

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Abstract

Fungi produce a variety of extracellular enzymes, making recalcitrant substrates bioavailable. Thus, fungi are central for the decomposition of dead organic matter such as leaf litter. Despite their ecological importance, our understanding of relationships between fungal species diversity and ecosystem functioning is limited, especially with regard to aquatic habitats. Moreover, fungal interactions with other groups of microorganisms such as bacteria are rarely investigated. This lack of information may be attributed to methodological limitations in tracking the biomass of individual fungal species in communities, impeding a detailed assessment of deviations from the overall performance expected from the sum of individual species' performances, so-called net diversity effects (NDEs). We used fungal species-specific biomolecular tools to target fungal-fungal and fungal-bacterial interactions on submerged leaves using four cosmopolitan aquatic fungal species and a stream microbial community dominated by bacteria. In microcosms, we experimentally manipulated fungal diversity and bacterial absence/presence and assessed functional performances and fungal community composition after 14 d of incubation. Fungal community data were used to evaluate NDEs on leaf colonization. The individual fungal species were functionally distinct and fungal cultures were on average more efficient than the bacterial culture. In absence of bacteria, NDEs correlated with growth rate (negatively) and genetic divergence (positively), but were predominantly negative, suggesting that higher fungal diversity led to a lower colonization success (niche overlap). In both absence and presence of bacteria, the overall functional performances of the communities were largely defined by their composition (i.e., no interactions at the functional level). In the presence of bacteria, NDEs correlated with genetic divergence (positively) and were largely positive, suggesting higher fungal diversity stimulated colonization (niche complementarity). This stimulation may be driven by a bacteria-induced inhibition of fungal growth, alleviating competition among fungi. Resulting feedback loops eventually promote fungal coexistence and synergistic interactions. Nonetheless, overall functional performances are reduced compared to bacteria-free cultures. These findings highlight the necessity to conduct future studies, investigating biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships using artificial systems, without exclusion of key organisms naturally co-occurring in the compartment of interest. Otherwise, study outcomes might not reflect true ecological relationships and ultimately misguide conservation strategies.

Authors/Creators:Baudy, Patrick and Zubrod, Jochen P. and Konschak, Marco and Kolbenschlag, Sara and Pollitt, Annika and Baschien, Christiane and Schulz, Ralf and Bundschuh, Mirco
Title:Fungal-fungal and fungal-bacterial interactions in aquatic decomposer communities: bacteria promote fungal diversity
Series Name/Journal:Ecology
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:102
Article number:e03471
Number of Pages:16
Publisher:WILEY
ISSN:0012-9658
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial 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:antagonism, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning, cellulolytic enzymes, community composition, complementarity, diversity effects, fungal interactions, fungal-bacterial interactions, ligninolytic enzymes, microbial decomposers, saprotrophs, traits
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113815
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113815
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1002/ecy.3471
Web of Science (WoS)000697270200001
ID Code:25553
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:04 Oct 2021 12:16
Metadata Last Modified:04 Oct 2021 12:21

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