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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Climate warming dominates over plant genotype in shaping the seasonal trajectory of foliar fungal communities on oak

Faticov, Maria; Abdelfattah, Ahmed; Roslin, Tomas; Vacher, Corinne; Hamback, Peter; Blanchet, F. Guillaume; Lindahl, Bjorn D.; Tack, Ayco J. M.


Leaves interact with a wealth of microorganisms. Among these, fungi are highly diverse and are known to contribute to plant health, leaf senescence and early decomposition. However, patterns and drivers of the seasonal dynamics of foliar fungal communities are poorly understood.We used a multifactorial experiment to investigate the influence of warming and tree genotype on the foliar fungal community on the pedunculate oak Quercus robur across one growing season.Fungal species richness increased, evenness tended to decrease, and community composition strongly shifted during the growing season. Yeasts increased in relative abundance as the season progressed, while putative fungal pathogens decreased. Warming decreased species richness, reduced evenness and changed community composition, especially at the end of the growing season. Warming also negatively affected putative fungal pathogens. We only detected a minor imprint of tree genotype and warming x genotype interactions on species richness and community composition.Overall, our findings demonstrate that warming plays a larger role than plant genotype in shaping the seasonal dynamics of the foliar fungal community on oak. These warming-induced shifts in the foliar fungal community may have a pronounced impact on plant health, plant-fungal interactions and ecosystem functions.


climate warming; community composition; foliar fungal community; host genotype; Quercus robur; seasonal dynamics; warming x genotype interaction

Published in

New Phytologist
2021, volume: 231, number: 5, pages: 1770-1783
Publisher: WILEY

Authors' information

Faticov, Maria
Stockholm University
Abdelfattah, Ahmed
Graz University of Technology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Vacher, Corinne
Hamback, Peter
Stockholm University
Blanchet, F. Guillaume
University of Sherbrooke
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment
Tack, Ayco J. M.
Stockholm University

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
SDG13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

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