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Partial mycoheterotrophy in Pyroleae: nitrogen and carbon stable isotope signatures during development from seedling to adult
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
2015 (English)In: Oecologia, ISSN 0029-8549, E-ISSN 1432-1939, Vol. 177, no 1, 203-211 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mycoheterotrophic plants (MHP) are divided into non-photosynthesizing full MHP and green-leaved partial or initial MHP. We investigated 13C and 15N isotope enrichment in five putatively partial MHP species in the tribe Pyroleae (Ericaceae): Chimaphila umbellata, Moneses uniflora, Orthilia secunda, Pyrola chlorantha and Pyrola minor, sampled from forest sites on Öland, Sweden. For M. uniflora and P. chlorantha, we investigated isotope signatures of subterranean seedlings (which are mycoheterotrophic), to examine how the use of seedlings instead of full MHP species (Hypopitys monotropa) as reference species affects the assessment of partial mycoheterotrophy. Our main findings were as follows: (1) All investigated Pyroleae species were enriched in 15N compared to autotrophic reference plants. (2) significant fungal-derived C among the Pyroleae species was found for O. secunda and P. chlorantha. For the remaining species of C. umbellata, M. uniflora and P. minor, isotope signatures suggested adult autotrophy. (3) C and N gains, calculated using seedlings as a full MHP reference, yielded qualitatively similar results as when using H. monotropa as a reference. However, the estimated differences in C and N gains became larger when using seedlings as an MHP reference. (4) A previously unknown interspecific variation in isotope signature occurs during early ontogeny, from seed production to developing seedlings. Our findings suggest that there is a variation among Pyroleae species concerning partial mycoheterotrophy in adults. Adult autotrophy may be most common in Pyroleae species, and these species may not be as dependent on fungal-derived nutrients as some green orchids.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 177, no 1, 203-211 p.
Keyword [en]
Dust seeds, Ericaceae, Mycoheterotrophy, Stable isotopes, Subterranean seedlings
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-109724DOI: 10.1007/s00442-014-3137-xISI: 000347406500019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-109724DiVA: diva2:766905
Available from: 2014-11-28 Created: 2014-11-28 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Recruitment ecology and fungal interactions in mycoheterotrophic Ericaceae
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Recruitment ecology and fungal interactions in mycoheterotrophic Ericaceae
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There are generally two contrasting alternatives to what limits recruitment in plants, namely the availability of seeds (seed limitation) or the quality or quantity of suitable sites (microsite limitation). Dust seeds, the smallest existing seeds, lack or have minimal nutrient reserves. During germination and initial development they consequently parasitize on mycorrhizal fungi. This is called mycoheterotrophy, and can vary in degree of fungal dependency in adult plants from full, partial or initial mycoheterotrophy.

The aim of this thesis was to investigate the recruitment ecology of mycoheterotrophic Ericaceae (tribe Pyroleae) species with dust seeds, and to determine what limits their recruitment. The investigated species were: Chimaphila umbellata, Moneses uniflora, Orthilia secunda, Pyrola chlorantha, P. minor and P. rotundifolia. This aim was achieved by combining field experiments (seed sowing) with isotope analysis and fungal host pyrosequencing.

Results provide evidence that the species in Pyroleae are heterogeneous, not only with regard to their degree of mycoheterotrophy, but also concerning germination and early seedling development. A combination of microsite and seed limitation is thus likely to be of importance for all studied species, but the relative importance of these limitations varies among species. Despite having adaptations for wind dispersal the majority of the seeds were deposited in close vicinity of the seed source. But with high seed production at least some seeds should be able to disperse long-distance. Seedlings of all studied species were found to associate with a wide range of ectomycorrhizal fungi, at least during their initial developmental stages. There seems to be a tendency for host narrowing in some Pyroleae species, but not as strict as the host specialization seen in fully mycoheterotrophic Monotropa hypopitys, supporting the hypothesis of geographical and developmental host shifts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, 2014. 46 p.
Keyword
454 Pyrosequencing, Dispersal limitation, Dust seeds, Ectomycorrhiza, Ericaceae, Microsite limitation, Monotropa hypopitys, Mycoheterotroph, Pyroleae, Seed limitation, Stable isotopes, Subterranean seedling, Symbiotic germination, Tricholoma
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-109160 (URN)978-91-7649-061-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-01-30, föreläsningssalen, Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och botanik, Lilla Frescativägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: In press. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2014-11-14 Last updated: 2015-01-07Bibliographically approved

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