Plants Play Stronger Effects on Soil Fungal than Bacterial Communities and Co-Occurrence Network Structures in a Subtropical Tree Diversity Experiment.
ABSTRACT: Increasing biodiversity loss profoundly affects community structure and ecosystem functioning. However, the differences in community assembly and potential drivers of the co-occurrence network structure of soil fungi and bacteria in association with tree species richness gradients are poorly documented. Here, we examined soil fungal and bacterial communities in a Chinese subtropical tree species richness experiment (from 1 to 16 species) using amplicon sequencing targeting the internal transcribed spacer 2 and V4 hypervariable region of the rRNA genes, respectively. Tree species richness had no significant effect on the diversity of either fungi or bacteria. In addition to soil and spatial distance, tree species richness and composition had a significant effect on fungal community composition but not on bacterial community composition. In fungal rather than bacterial co-occurrence networks, the average degree, degree centralization, and clustering coefficient significantly decreased, but the modularity significantly increased with increasing tree species richness. Fungal co-occurrence network structure was influenced by tree species richness and community composition as well as the soil carbon: nitrogen ratio, but the bacterial co-occurrence network structure was affected by soil pH and spatial distance. This study demonstrates that the community assembly and potential drivers of the co-occurrence network structure of soil fungi and bacteria differ in the subtropical forest. IMPORTANCE Increasing biodiversity loss profoundly affects community structure and ecosystem functioning. Therefore, revealing the mechanisms associated with community assembly and co-occurrence network structure of microbes along plant species diversity gradients is very important for understanding biodiversity maintenance and community stability in response to plant diversity loss. Here, we compared the differences in community assembly and potential drivers of the co-occurrence network structure of soil fungi and bacteria in a subtropical tree diversity experiment. In addition to soil and spatial distance, plants are more strongly predictive of the community and co-occurrence network structure of fungi than those of bacteria. The study highlighted that plants play more important roles in shaping community assembly and interactions of fungi than of bacteria in the subtropical tree diversity experiment.
Project description:Bacteria, archaea and fungi play crucial roles in wetland biogeochemical processes. However, little is known about their community structure, dynamics and interactions in subtropical coastal wetlands. Here, we examined communities of the three kingdoms in mangrove and mudflat sediments of a subtropical coastal wetland using Ion Torrent amplicon sequencing and co-occurrence network analysis. Bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities comprised mainly of members from the phyla Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes, Bathyarchaeota and Euryarchaeota, and Ascomycota, respectively. Species richness and Shannon diversity were highest in bacteria, followed by archaea and were lowest in fungi. Distinct spatiotemporal patterns were observed, with bacterial and fungal communities varying, to different extent, between wet and dry seasons and between mangrove and mudflat, and archaeal community remaining relatively stable between seasons and regions. Redundancy analysis revealed temperature as the major driver of the seasonal patterns of bacterial and fungal communities but also highlighted the importance of interkingdom biotic factors in shaping the community structure of all three kingdoms. Potential ecological interactions and putative keystone taxa were identified based on co-occurrence network analysis. These findings facilitate current understanding of the microbial ecology of subtropical coastal wetlands and provide a basis for better modelling of ecological processes in this important ecosystem.
Project description:The patterns and drivers of soil microbial communities in forest plantations remain inadequate although they have been extensively studied in natural forest and grassland ecosystems. In this study, using data from 12 subtropical plantation sites, we found that the overstory tree biomass and tree cover increased with increasing plantation age. However, there was a decline in the aboveground biomass and species richness of the understory herbs as plantation age increased. Biomass of all microbial community groups (i.e. fungi, bacteria, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and actinomycete) decreased with increasing plantation age; however, the biomass ratio of fungi to bacteria did not change with increasing plantation age. Variation in most microbial community groups was mainly explained by the understory herb (i.e. herb biomass and herb species richness) and overstory trees (i.e. tree biomass and tree cover), while soils (i.e. soil moisture, soil organic carbon, and soil pH) explained a relative low percentage of the variation. Our results demonstrate that the understory herb layer exerts strong controls on soil microbial community in subtropical plantations. These findings suggest that maintenance of plantation health may need to consider the management of understory herb in order to increase the potential of plantation ecosystems as fast-response carbon sinks.
Project description:Soil fungi are a highly diverse group of microorganisms that provide many ecosystem services. The mechanisms of soil fungal community assembly must therefore be understood to reliably predict how global changes such as climate warming and biodiversity loss will affect ecosystem functioning. To this end, we assessed fungal communities in experimental subtropical forests by pyrosequencing of the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region, and constructed tree-fungal bipartite networks based on the co-occurrence of fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and tree species. The characteristics of the networks and the observed degree of fungal specialization were then analyzed in relation to the level of tree species diversity. Unexpectedly, plots containing two tree species had higher <i>network connectance</i> and <i>fungal generality</i> values than those with higher tree diversity. Most of the frequent fungal OTUs were saprotrophs. The degree of fungal specialization was highest in tree monocultures. Ectomycorrhizal fungi had higher specialization coefficients than saprotrophic, arbuscular mycorrhizal, and plant pathogenic fungi. High tree species diversity plots with 4 to 16 different tree species sustained the greatest number of fungal species, which is assumed to be beneficial for ecosystem services because it leads to more effective resource exploitation and greater resilience due to functional redundancy.
Project description:Wood-inhabiting fungi (WIF) are pivotal to wood decomposition, which in turn strongly influences nutrient dynamics in forest soils. However, their dispersal mechanisms remain unclear. We hypothesized that the majority of WIF are soil-borne. For this reason, the presented research aimed to quantify the contribution of soil as a source and medium for the dispersal of WIF to deadwood using high-throughput sequencing. We tested effects of tree species (specifically Schima superba and Pinus massoniana) on the percentage of WIF shared between soil and deadwood in a Chinese subtropical forest ecosystem. We also assessed the taxonomic and ecological functional group affiliations of the fungal community shared between soil and deadwood. Our results indicate that soil is a major route for WIF colonization as 12%-15% (depending on the tree species) of soil fungi were simultaneously detected in deadwood. We also demonstrate that tree species (p < 0.01) significantly shapes the composition of the shared soil and deadwood fungal community. The pH of decomposing wood was shown to significantly correspond (p < 0.01) with the shared community of wood-inhabiting (of both studied tree species) and soil fungi. Furthermore, our data suggest that a wide range of fungal taxonomic (Rozellida, Zygomycota, Ascomycota, and Basidiomycota) and ecological functional groups (saprotrophs, ectomycorrhizal, mycoparasites, and plant pathogens) may use soil as a source and medium for transport to deadwood in subtropical forest ecosystem. While 12%-62% of saprotrophic, ectomycorrhizal, and mycoparasitic WIF may utilize soil to colonize deadwood, only 5% of the detected plant pathogens were detected in both soil and deadwood, implying that these fungi use other dispersal routes. Animal endosymbionts and lichenized WIF were not detected in the soil samples. Future studies should consider assessing the relative contributions of other possible dispersal mechanisms (e.g. wind, water splash, water dispersal, animal dispersal, and mycelial network) in the colonization of deadwood by soil fungi.
Project description:The deadwood mycobiome, also known as wood-inhabiting fungi (WIF), are among the key players in wood decomposition, having a large impact on nutrient cycling in forest soils. However, our knowledge of WIF richness and distribution patterns in different forest biomes is limited. Here, we used pyrotag sequencing of the fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) region to characterize the deadwood mycobiome of two tree species with greatly different wood characteristics (Schima superba and Pinus massoniana) in a Chinese subtropical forest ecosystem. Specifically, we tested (i) the effects of tree species and wood quality properties on WIF OTU richness and community composition; (ii) the role of biotic and abiotic factors in shaping the WIF communities; and (iii) the relationship between WIF OTU richness, community composition and decomposition rates. Due to different wood chemical properties, we hypothesized that the WIF communities derived from the two tree species would be correlated differently with biotic and abiotic factors. Our results show that deadwood in subtropical forests harbors diverse fungal communities comprising six ecological functional groups. We found interesting colonization patterns for this subtropical biome, where Resinicium spp. were highly detected in both broadleaved and coniferous deadwood. In addition, the members of Xylariales were frequently found in Schima. The two deadwood species differed significantly in WIF OTU richness (Pinus > Schima) and community composition (P < 0.001). Variations in WIF community composition of both tree species were significantly explained by wood pH and ecological factors (biotic: deadwood species, basal area and abiotic: soil pH), but the WIF communities derived from each tree species correlated differently with abiotic factors. Interestingly, we found that deadwood decomposition rate significantly correlated with WIF communities and negatively correlated with WIF OTU richness. We conclude that the pattern of WIF OTU richness and community composition are controlled by multiple interacting biotic and abiotic factors. Overall, our study provides an in-depth picture of the deadwood mycobiome in this subtropical forest. Furthermore, by comparing our results to results from temperate and boreal forests we contribute to a better understanding of patterns of WIF communities across different biomes and geographic locations.
Project description:The high tree diversity of subtropical forests is linked to the biodiversity of other trophic levels. Disentangling the effects of tree species richness and composition, forest age, and stand structure on higher trophic levels in a forest landscape is important for understanding the factors that promote biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Using a plot network spanning gradients of tree diversity and secondary succession in subtropical forest, we tested the effects of tree community characteristics (species richness and composition) and forest succession (stand age) on arthropod community characteristics (morphotype diversity, abundance and composition) of four arthropod functional groups. We posit that these gradients differentially affect the arthropod functional groups, which mediates the diversity, composition, and abundance of arthropods in subtropical forests. We found that herbivore richness was positively related to tree species richness. Furthermore, the composition of herbivore communities was associated with tree species composition. In contrast, detritivore richness and composition was associated with stand age instead of tree diversity. Predator and pollinator richness and abundance were not strongly related to either gradient, although positive trends with tree species richness were found for predators. The weaker effect of tree diversity on predators suggests a cascading diversity effect from trees to herbivores to predators. Our results suggest that arthropod diversity in a subtropical forest reflects the net outcome of complex interactions among variables associated with tree diversity and stand age. Despite this complexity, there are clear linkages between the overall richness and composition of tree and arthropod communities, in particular herbivores, demonstrating that these trophic levels directly impact each other.
Project description:Ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi are ubiquitous in temperate and boreal forests, comprising over 20,000 species forming root symbiotic associations with Pinaceae and woody angiosperms. As much as 100 different EM fungal species can coexist and interact with the same tree species, forming complex multispecies networks in soils. The degree of host specificity and structural properties of these interaction networks (e.g., nestedness and modularity) may influence plant and fungal community assembly and species coexistence, yet their structure has been little studied in northern coniferous forests, where trees depend on EM fungi for nutrient acquisition. We used high-throughput sequencing to characterize the composition and diversity of bulk soil and root-associated fungal communities in four co-occurring Pinaceae in a relic foredune plain located at Îles de la Madeleine, Québec, Canada. We found high EM fungal richness across the four hosts, with a total of 200 EM operational taxonomic units (OTUs), mainly belonging to the Agaricomycetes. Network analysis revealed an antinested pattern in both bulk soil and roots EM fungal communities. However, there was no detectable modularity (i.e., subgroups of interacting species) in the interaction networks, indicating a low level of specificity in these EM associations. In addition, there were no differences in EM fungal OTU richness or community structure among the four tree species. Limited shared resources and competitive exclusion typically restrict the number of taxa coexisting within the same niche. As such, our finding of high EM fungal richness and low host specificity highlights the need for further studies to determine the mechanisms enabling such a large number of EM fungal species to coexist locally on the same hosts.
Project description:Forests and woodlands in the West African Guineo-Sudanian transition zone contain many tree species that form symbiotic interactions with ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi. These fungi facilitate plant growth by increasing nutrient and water uptake and include many fruiting body-forming fungi, including some edible mushrooms. Despite their importance for ecosystem functioning and anthropogenic use, diversity and distribution of ECM fungi is severely under-documented in West Africa. We conducted a broad regional sampling across five West African countries using soil eDNA to characterize the ECM as well as the total soil fungal community in gallery forests and savanna woodlands dominated by ECM host tree species. We subsequently sequenced the entire ITS region and much of the LSU region to infer a phylogeny for all detected soil fungal species. Utilizing a long read sequencing approach allows for higher taxonomic resolution by using the full ITS region, while the highly conserved LSU gene allows for a more accurate higher-level assignment of species hypotheses, including species without ITS-based taxonomy assignments. We detect no overall difference in species richness between gallery forests and woodlands. However, additional gallery forest plots and more samples per plot would have been needed to firmly conclude this pattern. Based on both abundance and richness, species from the families Russulaceae and Inocybaceae dominate the ECM fungal soil communities across both vegetation types. The community structure of both total soil fungi and ECM fungi was significantly influenced by vegetation types and showed strong correlation within plots. However, we found no significant difference in fungal community structure between samples collected adjacent to different host tree species within each plot. We conclude that within plots, the fungal community is structured more by the overall ECM host plant community than by the species of the individual host tree that each sample was collected from.
Project description:Soil bacteria are important drivers of biogeochemical cycles and participate in many nutrient transformations in the soil. Meanwhile, bacterial diversity and community composition are related to soil physic-chemical properties and vegetation factors. However, how the soil and vegetation factors affect the diversity and community composition of bacteria is poorly understood, especially for bacteria associated with evergreen and deciduous trees in subtropical forest ecosystems. In the present paper, the microbial communities of rhizospheric soils associated with different types of trees were analyzed by Illumina MiSeq sequencing the V3-V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. A total of 121,219 effective 16S rRNA gene sequences were obtained, which were classified into 29 bacterial phyla and 2 archaeal phyla. The dominant phyla across all samples (>5% of good-quality sequences in each sample) were Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. The bacterial community composition and diversity were largely affected by both soil pH and tree species. The soil pH was the key factor influencing bacterial diversity, with lower pH associated with less diverse communities. Meanwhile, the contents of NO3- were higher in evergreen tree soils than those associated with deciduous trees, while less NH4+ than those associated with deciduous trees, leading to a lower pH and indirectly influencing the diversity and composition of the bacteria. The co-occurrence patterns were assessed by network analysis. A total of 415 pairs of significant and robust correlations (co-occurrence and negative) were identified from 89 genera. Sixteen hubs of co-occurrence patterns, mainly under the phyla Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, may play important roles in sustaining the stability of the rhizospheric microbial communities. In general, our results suggested that local environmental conditions and soil pH were important in shaping the bacterial community of the Taihu Lake zone in east China.
Project description:Although land use drives soil bacterial diversity and community structure, little information about the bacterial interaction networks is available. Here, we investigated bacterial co-occurrence networks in soils under different types of land use (forests, grasslands, crops and vineyards) by sampling 1798 sites in the French Soil Quality Monitoring Network covering all of France. An increase in bacterial richness was observed from forests to vineyards, whereas network complexity respectively decreased from 16,430 links to 2,046. However, the ratio of positive to negative links within the bacterial networks ranged from 2.9 in forests to 5.5 in vineyards. Networks structure was centered on the most connected genera (called hub), which belonged to Bacteroidetes in forest and grassland soils, but to Actinobacteria in vineyard soils. Overall, our study revealed that soil perturbation due to intensive cropping reduces strongly the complexity of bacterial network although the richness is increased. Moreover, the hub genera within the bacterial community shifted from copiotrophic taxa in forest soils to more oligotrophic taxa in agricultural soils.