Species richness and nitrogen supply regulate the productivity and respiration of ectomycorrhizal fungi in pure culture

Anna Wilkinson, Martin Solan, Ian Alexander, David Johnson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    The effects of biodiversity of aboveground organisms have been widely investigated in a range of ecosystems, yet whether similar responses are also seen in belowground microbial communities, such as ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi, are little understood. We investigated, in vitro, the effects of a gradient of 1–8 species of EM fungi interacting with substratum carbon:nitrogen (C:N) ratio on biomass production and CO2 efflux. The model experimental systems enabled us to recover and measure biomass of individuals within communities and calculate net selection and complementarity effects. Both biomass and CO2 efflux increased with species richness particularly under high N concentrations. Moreover, net biodiversity effects were largely positive, driven by both selection and complementarity effects. Our results reveal, in pure culture, the implications of EM species richness on community productivity and C cycling, particularly under high N conditions, and constitute the basis for future experiments under natural conditions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)211-222
    Number of pages12
    JournalFungal Ecology
    Volume5
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

    Keywords

    • Biodiversity
    • Carbon:nitrogen ratio
    • Community ecology
    • Ecosystem functioning
    • Ectomycorrhizal fungi
    • Mycology
    • Nitrogen availability

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