Species richness and nitrogen supply regulate the productivity and respiration of ectomycorrhizal fungi in pure culture

Anna Wilkinson, Martin Solan, Ian Alexander, David Johnson

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Abstract

The effects of biodiversity of aboveground organisms have been widely investigated in a range of ecosystems, yet whether similar responses are also seen in belowground microbial communities, such as ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi, are little understood. We investigated, in vitro, the effects of a gradient of 1-8 species of EM fungi interacting with substratum carbon:nitrogen (C:N) ratio on biomass production and CO2 efflux. The model experimental systems enabled us to recover and measure biomass of individuals within communities and calculate net selection and complementarity effects. Both biomass and CO2 efflux increased with species richness particularly under high N concentrations. Moreover, net biodiversity effects were largely positive, driven by both selection and complementarity effects. Our results reveal, in pure culture, the implications of EM species richness on community productivity and C cycling, particularly under high N conditions, and constitute the basis for future experiments under natural conditions. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd and The British Mycological Society. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-222
Number of pages12
JournalFungal Ecology
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

Keywords

  • biodiversity
  • carbon:nitrogen ratio
  • community ecology
  • ecosystem functioning
  • ectomycorrhizal fungi
  • mycology
  • nitrogen availability
  • biodiversity experiments
  • ecosystem productivity
  • deposition gradient
  • community change
  • plant diversity
  • forest soil
  • decomposition
  • ecology
  • growth
  • redundancy

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