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  • 1.
    Plue, Jan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Vandepitte, Katrien
    Honnay, Olivier
    Cousins, Sara A. O.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Does the seed bank contribute to the build-up of a genetic extinction debt in the grassland perennial Campanula rotundifolia?2017In: Annals of Botany, ISSN 0305-7364, E-ISSN 1095-8290, Vol. 120, no 3, p. 373-385Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background and Aims

    Habitat fragmentation threatens global biodiversity. Many plant species persist in habitat fragments via persistent life cycle stages such as seed banks, generating a species extinction debt. Here, seed banks are hypothesized to cause a temporal delay in the expected loss of genetic variation, which can be referred to as a genetic extinction debt, as a possible mechanism behind species extinction debts.

    Methods

    Fragmented grassland populations of Campanula rotundifolia were examined for evidence of a genetic extinction debt, investigating if the seed bank contributed to the extinction debt build-up. The genetic make-up of 15 above- and below-ground populations was analysed in relation to historical and current levels of habitat fragmentation, both separately and combined.

    Key Results

    Genetic diversity was highest in above-ground populations, though below-ground populations contained 8 % of unique alleles that were absent above-ground. Above-ground genetic diversity and composition were related to historical patch size and connectivity, but not current patch characteristics, suggesting the presence of a genetic extinction debt in the above-ground populations. No such relationships were found for the below-ground populations. Genetic diversity measures still showed a response to historical but not present landscape characteristics when combining genetic diversity of the above- and below-ground populations.

    Conclusions

    The fragmented C. rotundifolia populations exhibited a genetic extinction debt. However, the role of the seed banks in the build-up of this extinction debt is probably small, since the limited, unique genetic diversity of the seed bank alone seems unable to counter the detrimental effects of habitat fragmentation on the population genetic structure of C. rotundifolia.

  • 2. Van Geel, Maarten
    et al.
    Jacquemyn, Hans
    Plue, Jan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Saar, Liina
    Kasari, Liis
    Peeters, Gerrit
    van Acker, Kasper
    Honnay, Olivier
    Ceulemans, Tobias
    Abiotic rather than biotic filtering shapes the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities of European seminatural grasslands2018In: New Phytologist, ISSN 0028-646X, E-ISSN 1469-8137, Vol. 220, no 4, p. 1262-1272Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although it is well known that arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) play a key role in the functioning of natural ecosystems, the underlying drivers determining the composition of AMF communities remain unclear. In this study, we established 138 sampling plots at 46 grassland sites, consisting of 26 acidic grasslands and 20 calcareous grasslands spread across eight European countries, to assess the relative importance of abiotic and biotic filtering in driving AMF community composition and structure in both the grassland soils and in the roots of 13 grassland plant species. Soil AMF communities differed significantly between acidic and calcareous grasslands. In root AMF communities, most variance was attributable to soil variables while very little variation was explained by host plant identity. Root AMF communities in host plant species occurring in only one grassland type closely resembled the soil AMF communities of that grassland type and the root AMF communities of other host plant species occurring in the same grassland type. The observed AMF-host plants networks were not modular but nested. Our results indicate that abiotic conditions, rather than biotic filtering through host plant specificity, are the most important drivers in shaping AMF communities in European seminatural grasslands.

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