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The impact of dispersal, plant genotype and nematodes on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colonization
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0607-4230
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2019 (English)In: Soil Biology and Biochemistry, ISSN 0038-0717, E-ISSN 1879-3428, Vol. 132, p. 28-35Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

While the majority of parasitic and mutualistic microbes have the potential for long-range dispersal, the high turnover in community composition among nearby hosts has often been interpreted to reflect dispersal constraints. To resolve this apparent contradiction, we need further insights into the relative importance of dispersal limitation, host genotype and the biotic environment on the colonization process. We focused on the important root symbionts, the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. We studied AM fungal colonization ability in a controlled mesocosm setting, where we placed Plantago lanceolata plants belonging to four different genotypes in sterile soil at 10, 30 and 70 cm from a central AM fungal inoculated P. lanceolata plant. In part of the mesocosms, we also inoculated the source plants with nematodes. AM fungi colonized receiver plants <1 m away over the course of ten weeks, with a strong effect of distance from source plant on AM fungal colonization. Plant genotype influenced AM fungal colonization during the early stages of colonization, while nematode inoculation had no effect on AM fungal colonization. Overall, the effect of both dispersal limitation and plant genetic variation may underlie the small-scale heterogeneity found in natural AM fungal communities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 132, p. 28-35
Keywords [en]
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, Colonization ability, Dispersal, Genotype, Nematodes, Plantago lanceolata
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Ecology and Evolution
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-161035DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2019.01.018ISI: 000465057200004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-161035DiVA, id: diva2:1255786
Available from: 2018-10-15 Created: 2018-10-15 Last updated: 2019-05-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Plant-associated soil communities: Patterns, drivers and aboveground consequences
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Plant-associated soil communities: Patterns, drivers and aboveground consequences
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Soil contains a wealth of diversity – bacteria, fungi, nematodes, arthropods and earthworms are just some of the many organisms found belowground. These organisms play an important role in shaping the soil environment and they strongly influence plant fitness, diversity and community composition. Their impact even cascades up to affect aboveground species interactions. Ultimately, belowground organisms are a vital part of ecosystem functioning. Nevertheless, most of the diversity and ecology of belowground organisms are to this day unknown, and increasing our insights into the role and ecology of soil organisms is of importance for natural and agricultural systems.

The main goal of this thesis was to investigate spatial patterns of plant-associated soil communities (I, II), to identify the drivers of such spatial patterns (I, II, III), and to study some of the consequences of belowground spatial patterns for aboveground species interactions (IV). To answer these questions, I used both observational studies and multifactorial experiments in combination with microscopy and metabarcoding. I focused on the plant Plantago lanceolata (ribwort plantain) and its root-associated soil microbes, with a strong emphasis on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, an important group of root symbionts.

I found that in natural environments arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities frequently show high small-scale variation (I). In the following work I showed that the pattern of high small-scale heterogeneity may be due to dispersal limitation (II), abiotic conditions such as pH, soil nutrients and climate (I, III), and biotic conditions, such as interspecific community composition and genetic variation (I, II). The high variation at small spatial scales (I) in combination with genetic variation of plants and insects (IV) may help maintain high local heterogeneity in aboveground plant-associated communities, thereby influencing aboveground diversity and dynamics.

The insight gained here has increased our general knowledge on the distribution of soil microbes and the interactions taking place above and belowground. It has furthermore laid a foundation for future work on the world of soil microbes and their implications aboveground.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, 2018. p. 43
Keywords
aboveground-belowground interactions, arbuscular mycorrhiza, climate, dispersal, environmental drivers, fungi, genetic variation, nematodes, plant-herbivore interactions, soil communities, spatial patterns
National Category
Ecology Microbiology
Research subject
Ecology and Evolution
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-160903 (URN)978-91-7797-494-9 (ISBN)978-91-7797-495-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-11-30, Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-salen), NPQ-huset, Svante Arrhenius väg 20, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
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Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2018-11-07 Created: 2018-10-15 Last updated: 2018-11-02Bibliographically approved

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