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Structure and resilience of fungal communities in Alaskan boreal forest soils

TitleStructure and resilience of fungal communities in Alaskan boreal forest soils
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsD. Taylor, L, Herriott, IC, Stone, KE, McFarland, JW, Booth, MG, Leigh, MBeth
JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research

This paper outlines molecular analyses of soil fungi within the Bonanza Creek Long Term Ecological Researchprogram. We examined community structure in three studies in mixed upland, black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP),and white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) forests and examined taxa involved in cellulose degradation at one uplandsite. We found that soil horizon was the factor by which fungal communities were most strongly structured and that predictableturnover in upland fungal species occurred through succession. Communities from consecutive summers were notsignificantly different, indicating that interannual variation was small in relation to differences between forest types andsoil horizons, yet the community at a seasonal study site underwent significant changes within a year. In each study, mycorrhizalfungi dominated the community. Fungi rather than bacteria appeared to dominate [13C]cellulose degradation,with strongest growth in taxa that were not dominant members of the untreated community, including members of the genusSebacina. Overall, our results point to considerable interannual resilience juxtaposed with narrow niche partitioningand the capacity of individual taxa in these hyperdiverse communities to respond strongly to resource inputs and changesin other abiotic environmental parameters such as temperature. Our data double the cumulative total of fungal sequencesin GenBank and together achieve a better picture of fungal communities here than for any other ecosystem on earth at thistime.

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