Evidence of species interactions within an ectomycorrhizal fungal community

Authors

  • Roger T. Koide,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Horticulture, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA;
    2. Integrative Biosciences Graduate Program in Plant Physiology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA;
    3. Intercollege Graduate Program in Ecology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA;
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  • Bing Xu,

    1. Department of Horticulture, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA;
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  • Jori Sharda,

    1. Integrative Biosciences Graduate Program in Plant Physiology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA;
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  • Ylva Lekberg,

    1. Intercollege Graduate Program in Ecology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA;
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  • Nancy Ostiguy

    1. Department of Entomology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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Author for correspondence: Roger T. Koide Fax: +1 814 8636139 Email: rxk13@psu.edu

Summary

  • • Ectomycorrhizal fungal communities can be structured by abiotic and biotic factors. Here, we present evidence for community structuring by species interactions.
  • • We sampled ectomycorrhizas and forest floor seven times during a 13-month period. The presence of various ectomycorrhizal fungal species was determined for each sample, and species co-occurrence analyses were performed.
  • • For both ectomycorrhizas and forest floor samples there was significantly less co-occurrence among species within the community than expected by chance, mostly because of negative associations involving Cenococcum geophilum or Clavulina cinerea. For some species pairs, there was significantly more co-occurrence than expected by chance. Both nitrogen and tannin additions to the forest floor altered some interactions among species.
  • • The causes of these nonrandom distributions are currently unknown. Future investigations on competition, antibiosis, parasitism and facilitation among ectomycorrhizal fungal species appear to be warranted.

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