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Root associated fungi respond more strongly than rhizosphere soil fungi to N fertilization in a boreal forest

Marupakula, Srisailam; Mahmood, Shahid; Engelbrecht Clemmensen, Karina; Jacobson, Staffan; Högbom, Lars; Finlay, Roger


Nitrogen (N) fertilization is a routine practice in boreal forests but its effects on fungal functional guilds in Pinus sylvestris forests are still incompletely understood. Sampling is often restricted to the upper organic horizons and based on DNA extracted from mixtures of soil and roots without explicitly analysing different spatial niches. Fungal community structure in soil and roots of an 85-y-old Pinus sylvestris forest was investigated using high throughput sequencing. Fertilized plots had been treated with a single dose of N fertilizer, 15 months prior to sampling. Species richness of fungi colonizing roots was reduced in all horizons by N fertilization. In contrast, species richness of soil fungi in the organic horizon was increased by N fertilization, but unaffected in the mineral horizons. Community composition of fungi colonizing roots differed from that of soil fungi, and both communities were significantly influenced by soil horizon and N. The ectomycorrhizal community composition in both roots and soil was significantly affected by N fertilization but no significant effect was found on saprotrophic fungi. The results highlight the importance of analysing the rhizosphere soil and root compartments separately since the fungal communities in these two niches appear to respond differently to environmental perturbations involving the addition of nitrogen. (C) 2020 Published by Elsevier B.V.


Diversity; Ectomycorrhizal fungi; Fungal community structure; High throughput sequencing; Nitrogen (N) fertilization

Publicerad i

Science of the Total Environment
2021, Volym: 766, artikelnummer: 142597