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Fungal communities and their association with nitrogen-fixing bacteria affect early decomposition of Norway spruce deadwood


Gómez-Brandón, María; Probst, Maraike; Siles, José A; Peintner, Ursula; Bardelli, Tommaso; Egli, Markus; Insam, Heribert; Ascher-Jenull, Judith (2020). Fungal communities and their association with nitrogen-fixing bacteria affect early decomposition of Norway spruce deadwood. Scientific Reports, 10(1):8025.

Abstract

Deadwood decomposition is relevant in nature and wood inhabiting fungi (WIF) are its main decomposers. However, climate influence on WIF community and their interactions with bacteria are poorly understood. Therefore, we set up an in-field mesocosm experiment in the Italian Alps and monitored the effect of slope exposure (north- vs. south-facing slope) on the decomposition of Picea abies wood blocks and their microbiome over two years. Unlike fungal richness and diversity, we observed compositional and functional differences in the WIF communities as a function of exposure. Wood-degrading operational taxonomic units (OTUs) such as Mycena, and mycorrhizal and endophytic OTUs were characteristic of the south-facing slope. On the north-facing one, Mucoromycota, primarily Mucor, were abundant and mixotrophic basidiomycetes with limited lignin-degrading capacities had a higher prevalence compared to the southern slope. The colder, more humid conditions and prolonged snow-coverage at north exposure likely influenced the development of the wood-degrading microbial communities. Networks between WIF and N2-fixing bacteria were composed of higher numbers of interacting microbial units and showed denser connections at the south-facing slope. The association of WIF to N2-fixing Burkholderiales and Rhizobiales could have provided additional competitive advantages, especially for early wood colonization.

Abstract

Deadwood decomposition is relevant in nature and wood inhabiting fungi (WIF) are its main decomposers. However, climate influence on WIF community and their interactions with bacteria are poorly understood. Therefore, we set up an in-field mesocosm experiment in the Italian Alps and monitored the effect of slope exposure (north- vs. south-facing slope) on the decomposition of Picea abies wood blocks and their microbiome over two years. Unlike fungal richness and diversity, we observed compositional and functional differences in the WIF communities as a function of exposure. Wood-degrading operational taxonomic units (OTUs) such as Mycena, and mycorrhizal and endophytic OTUs were characteristic of the south-facing slope. On the north-facing one, Mucoromycota, primarily Mucor, were abundant and mixotrophic basidiomycetes with limited lignin-degrading capacities had a higher prevalence compared to the southern slope. The colder, more humid conditions and prolonged snow-coverage at north exposure likely influenced the development of the wood-degrading microbial communities. Networks between WIF and N2-fixing bacteria were composed of higher numbers of interacting microbial units and showed denser connections at the south-facing slope. The association of WIF to N2-fixing Burkholderiales and Rhizobiales could have provided additional competitive advantages, especially for early wood colonization.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Multidisciplinary
Uncontrolled Keywords:Multidisciplinary
Language:English
Date:1 December 2020
Deposited On:07 Jan 2021 12:15
Last Modified:08 Jan 2021 21:02
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-64808-5

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