Genotype identity determines productivity and CO2 efflux across a genotype-species gradient of ectomycorrhizal fungi

Anna Wilkinson, Ian Alexander, David Johnson

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungal communities are taxonomically diverse, and independent manipulation of both intra- and interspecific diversity has previously been shown to positively influence the productivity and activity of EM fungi. Here, we combine manipulations of intra- and interspecific richness and test the effects of a genotype-species gradient on the biomass production and respiration of EM fungi in vitro. Genotype identity had the most pronounced effect on fungal productivity, and in some cases variation within species was greater than between species. We found small negative effects of both species and genotype richness on biomass production, CO2 efflux and the final nitrogen (N) content of the fungal communities corresponding to mixed negative selection and complementarity effects. Our study highlights the degree of variability between individual EM fungi at the genotype level, and consequently emphasises the importance of individual genotypes for playing key roles in shaping belowground community functioning. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd and The British Mycological Society. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-580
Number of pages10
JournalFungal Ecology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • biodiversity
  • community ecology
  • ecosystem functioning
  • ectomycorrhizal fungi
  • genotype identity
  • interspecific diversity
  • mycology
  • population ecology

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