Fungal community composition shifts along a leaf degradation gradient in a European beech forest
- 799 Downloads
The fungal communities in living and decomposed leaves of European Beech (Fagus sylvatica) were compared to identify the phyllosphere fungi involved in litter decomposition at a site in Bavaria, Germany.
New primers were designed to cover a broad range of fungal ribosomal DNA sequence diversity. Following ‘environmental PCR’, clone libraries from each of five samples of living leaves (surface-sterilized and untreated), freshly fallen, initially and highly decomposed leaves, were screened using RFLP fingerprinting.
Statistical analysis (ANOSIM) revealed that the fungal communities colonizing living (a) and initially decomposed leaves (c) significantly differed between each other and from freshly fallen (b) and highly decomposed leaves (d). Fungal assemblages of a and d were statistically indistinguishable from each other and from the endophyllous fungal community in living leaves.
The results showed that endophyllous fungi play a role throughout the whole decomposition process of beech leaf litter. Therefore, clarification of the life cycle of certain endophytic and/or soil fungi may only be achieved by considering both phyllosphere and soil habitats.
KeywordsFagus sylvatica (European Beech) Phyllosphere Endophytic fungi Soil fungi ITS rRNA gene RFLP fingerprints
We appreciate the support given by Ulrich Mergner (Ebrach) in allocating the sampling site. Dominik Begerow and Andrey Yurkov (both Bochum) shared with us details on Erythrobasidiaceae. Fabienne Flessa and Alexandra Kehl provided valuable information concerning data analysis, Sebastian Werner and Christina Leistner assisted with laboratory work (all Bayreuth). Suggestions of Marc Stadler (Bayreuth) helped to improve the manuscript.
- Baldrian P, Kolařík M, Stursová M, Kopecký J, Valášková V, Větrovský T, Žifčáková L, Šnajdr J, Rídl J, Vlček C, Voříšková J (2011a) Active and total microbial communities in forest soil are largely different and highly stratified during decomposition. ISME J. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2011.95
- Berg B, McClaugherty C (2008) Plant litter: decomposition, humus formation, carbon sequestration. Springer, Berlin, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
- Bills GF, Christensen M, Powell MJ, Thorn G (2004) Saprobic soil fungi. In: Mueller GM, Bills GF, Foster MS (eds) Biodiversity of fungi: inventory and monitoring methods. Elsevier, Boston, pp 271–302Google Scholar
- Coleman DC, Crossley DA Jr, Hendrix PF (2004) Fundamentals of soil ecology, 2nd edn. Academic, BurlingtonGoogle Scholar
- R Development Core Team (2008) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing. Vienna, Austria. http://www.R-project.org
- Flessa F, Kehl A, Kohl M (2010) RFLPtools. R package version 1.0Google Scholar
- Jaccard P (1901) Étude comparative de la distribution florale dans une portion des Alpes et des Jura. Bull Soc Vaudoise Sci Nat 37:547–579Google Scholar
- Kurtzman CP, Fell JW, Boekhout T (2010) The yeasts, a taxonomic study. Elsevier, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Lindeberg G (1946) On the decomposition of lignin and cellulose in litter caused by soil-inhabiting Hymenomycetes. Arkiv Bot 33A:1–10Google Scholar
- Magri D, Vendramin GG, Comps B, Dupanloup I, Geburek T, Gomory D, Latalowa M, Litt T, Paule L, Roure JM, Tantau I, van der Knaap WO, Petit RJ, de Beaulieu JL (2006) A new scenario for the quaternary history of European beech populations: palaeobotanical evidence and genetic consequences. New Phytol 171:199–221PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Nagahama T, Hamamoto M, Nakase T, Shimamura S, Horikoshi K (2006) Phylogenetic relationship within the Erythrobasidium clade: molecular phylogenies, secondary structure, and intron positions inferred from partial sequences of ribosomal RNA and elongation factor-1 alpha genes. J Gen Appl Microbiol 52:37–45PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Schubert K, Groenewald JZ, Braun U, Dijksterhuis J, Starink M, Hill CF, Zalar P, de Hoog GS, Crous PW (2007) Biodiversity in the Cladosporium herbarum complex (Davidiellaceae, Capnodiales), with standardisation of methods for Cladosporium taxonomy and diagnostics. Stud Mycol 58:105–156PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Šnajdr J, Cajthaml T, Valášková V, Merhautová V, Petránková M, Spetz P, Leppänen K, Baldrian P (2011) Transformation of Quercus petraea litter: successive changes in litter chemistry are reflected in differential enzyme activity and changes in the microbial community composition. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 75:291–303PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Stone JK, Polishook JD, White JF (2004) Endophytic fungi. In: Mueller GM, Bills GF, Foster MS (eds) Biodiversity of fungi: inventory and monitoring methods. Elsevier, Boston, pp 241–270Google Scholar
- Tedersoo L, Nilsson RH, Abarenkov K, Jairus T, Sadam A, Saar I, Bahram M, Bechem E, Chuyong G, Koljalg U (2010) 454 Pyrosequencing and Sanger sequencing of tropical mycorrhizal fungi provide similar results but reveal substantial methodological biases. New Phytol 188:291–301PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Troedsson T, Tamm CO (1969) Small-scale spatial variation in forest soil properties and its implications for sampling procedures: Variabiliteten i några av skogsmarkens egenskaper inom små ytor och dess betydelse för markprovtagningsmetodiken. In: Flower-Ellis JGK (ed) Studia forestalia Suecica. Skogshögskolan, Faculty of Forest Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, StockholmGoogle Scholar
- White TJ, Bruns T, Lee S, Taylor J (1990) Amplification and direct sequencing of fungal ribosomal RNA genes for phylogenetics. In: Innis M, Gelfand D, Shinsky J, White T (eds) PCR protocols: a guide to methods and applications. Academic, London, pp 315–322Google Scholar