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Research article2016Peer reviewedOpen access

Do foliar fungal communities of Norway spruce shift along a tree species diversity gradient in mature European forests?

Nguyen, Diem; Boberg, Johanna; Ihrmark, Katarina; Stenström, Elna; Stenlid, Jan


Foliar fungal species are diverse and colonize all plants, though whether forest tree species composition influences the distribution of these fungal communities remains unclear. Fungal communities include quiescent taxa and the functionally important and metabolically active taxa that respond to changes in the environment. To determine fungal community shifts along a tree species diversity gradient, needles of Norway spruce were sampled from trees from four mature European forests. We hypothesized that the fungal communities and specific fungal taxa would correlate with tree species diversity. Furthermore, the active fungal community, and not the total community, would shift along the tree diversity gradient. High-throughput sequencing showed significant differences in the fungal communities in the different forests, and in one forest, tree diversity effects were observed, though this was not a general phenomenon. Our study also suggests that studying the metabolically active community may not provide additional information about community composition or diversity. (C) 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Diversity gradient; FunDivEUROPE; Forests; Fungal community; Norway spruce needles; Tree species richness

Published in

Fungal Ecology
2016, Volume: 23, pages: 97-108