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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Elevation and plant species identity jointly shape a diverse arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community in the High Arctic

Rasmussen, Pil U.; Abrego, Nerea; Roslin, Tomas; Opik, Maarja; Sepp, Siim-Kaarel; Blanchet, F. Guillaume; Huotari, Tea; Hugerth, Luisa W.; Tack, Ayco J. M.

Abstract

Knowledge about the distribution and local diversity patterns of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are limited for extreme environments such as the Arctic, where most studies have focused on spore morphology or root colonization. We here studied the joint effects of plant species identity and elevation on AM fungal distribution and diversity. We sampled roots of 19 plant species in 18 locations in Northeast Greenland, using next generation sequencing to identify AM fungi. We studied the joint effect of plant species, elevation and selected abiotic conditions on AM fungal presence, richness and composition. We identified 29 AM fungal virtual taxa (VT), of which six represent putatively new VT. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal presence increased with elevation, and as vegetation cover and the active soil layer decreased. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal composition was shaped jointly by elevation and plant species identity. We demonstrate that the Arctic harbours a relatively species-rich and nonrandomly distributed diversity of AM fungi. Given the high diversity and general lack of knowledge exposed herein, we encourage further research into the diversity, drivers and functional role of AM fungi in the Arctic. Such insight is urgently needed for an area with some of the globally highest rates of climate change.

Keywords

abiotic and biotic environment; altitudinal gradient; arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi; climate; elevational gradient; High Arctic

Published in

New Phytologist
2022, volume: 236, number: 2, pages: 671-683
Publisher: WILEY

Authors' information

Rasmussen, Pil U.
Stockholm University
Rasmussen, Pil U.
National Research Centre for the Working Environment
Abrego, Nerea
University of Helsinki
University of Helsinki
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Opik, Maarja
University of Tartu
Sepp, Siim-Kaarel
University of Tartu
Blanchet, F. Guillaume
University of Sherbrooke
Huotari, Tea
University of Helsinki
Hugerth, Luisa W.
Karolinska Institutet
Tack, Ayco J. M.
Stockholm University

UKÄ Subject classification

Ecology
Botany

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.18342

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/118460