Structure and Diversity of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities Across Spatial and Environmental Gradients in the Chaco Forest of South America
The Chaco forest is one of the most diverse ecosystems in South America (SA) and harbors different vegetation units with high levels of biodiversity. However, the information about how belowground communities are spatially structured across vegetation units in the Chaco forest is scarce. We aimed to analyze the variation of taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity and the structure of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities across different vegetation units of the Chaco forest. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) richness showed significant differences between vegetation units. The AMF community composition was being significantly structured by geographic variables (i.e. wider scale), environmental variables (i.e. altitude, temperature and precipitation) and edaphic (i.e. pH and Nitrogen). In addition, the AMF communities in the Chaco forest might be phylogenetically clustered compared to local (Córdoba Province), regional (SA) and global species pool. In general, a variation of AMF communities in the Chaco forest might be determined by the spatial configuration and environmental conditions.
KeywordsArbuscular mycorrhiza Chaco forest Mycorrhizal symbiosis
This work was supported by the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), FONCYT, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba and Universidad Nacional de San Luis. We are grateful to María del Rosario Iglesias for helping with the map edition.
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