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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Diversity and Composition of Belowground Fungal Communities Associated with Picea abies L. (H.) Karst. and Larix sp. Mill.: A Comparative Study

Lynikiene, Jurate; Marciulynas, Adas; Marciulyniene, Diana; Gedminas, Arturas; Mishcherikova, Valeriia; Menkis, Audrius

Abstract

The aim of the presented study was to compare the diversity and composition of fungal communities associated with the roots and the rhizosphere soil of P. abies and Larix sp. in mid-age and mature managed forest stands in Lithuania. We also aimed to assess the presence of fungi-host-specific associations, i.e., whether Larix sp. stands could provide habitats for soil fungi currently associated with P. abies. The study sites were 10 Larix sp. and 10 P. abies forest stands in Lithuania. For the study, 100 root samples and 10 organic and 10 mineral soil samples were collected in P. abies stands as well as the same number in Larix sp. stands, and DNA was isolated, amplified using ITS2 rDNA as a marker and subjected to high-throughput sequencing. The results showed that the Shannon diversity index of fungal communities was similar between the two tree species when compared either between root (H = 4.26 P. abies and H = 3.82 Larix sp.), organic soil (H = 5.12 P. abies and H = 5.13 Larix sp.) or mineral soil (H = 4.71 P. abies and H = 4.29 Larix sp.) samples. Multivariate analysis showed that the fungal community composition in the organic and mineral soil samples of both P. abies and Larix sp. were similar, and thus, overlapping. The analysis also showed that the distribution of fungal species was denser in the roots and organic soil but more scattered in mineral soil. However, several fungi in the roots of either P. abies or Larix sp. showed a certain host specificity.

Keywords

fungal diversity; fungal communities; Picea abies; Larix sp.; roots; rhizosphere soil

Published in

Diversity
2024, Volume: 16, number: 3, article number: 160Publisher: MDPI