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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Impact of hurricane disturbance on mycorrhizal co-occurrence networks: Resilience and community dynamics in the Neotropics

Alvarez-Manjarrez, Julieta; Bahram, Mohammad; Polme, Sergei; Garibay-Orijel, Roberto


Extreme climatic events and related disturbances such as hurricanes are increasingly altering forest ecosystems. How these events impact forest fungal communities is poorly characterized. We examined the effect of a hurricane on mycorrhizal community structure and potential interspecific fungal interactions, inferred from OTU co-occurrences. We characterized the root fungal communities of dual-mycorrhizal plants from nine plots during two consecutive years after a category four hurricane impacted the coastal Mexican Pacific tropical forest in Jalisco. Presence-abundance matrices were used to calculate properties of mycorrhizal networks including nestedness and modularity, and to infer patterns of co-occurrence. One year after the hurricane there was a loss of links between plants and fungi. Increased network modularity and connectivity were observed after two years. We also found that disturbance changed arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal network structure more strongly than ectomycorrhizal fungal networks. Fungal guilds changed their putative interspecific interactions, from mutual exclusion in the first year to a significant increase in co-occurrence of plant pathogens, saprotrophs, and endophytes in the second year. Our results suggest that in the short term, rhizospheric interactions can be resilient to hurricanes, but fungal guilds may have divergent responses.


Arbuscular mycorrhiza; Cyclone; Ectomycorrhiza; Fungal guilds; Interspecific interactions

Published in

Fungal Ecology
2024, Volume: 70, article number: 101354

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