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Forskningsartikel2018Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Contrasting effects of ectomycorrhizal fungi on early and late stage decomposition in a boreal forest

Sterkenburg, Erica; Clemmensen, Karina E.; Ekblad, Alf; Finlay, Roger D.; Lindahl, Bjorn D.


Symbiotic ectomycorrhizal fungi have received increasing attention as regulators of below-ground organic matter storage. They are proposed to promote organic matter accumulation by suppressing saprotrophs, but have also been suggested to play an active role in decomposition themselves. Here we show that exclusion of tree roots and associated ectomycorrhizal fungi in a boreal forest increased decomposition of surface litter by 11% by alleviating nitrogen limitation of saprotrophs-a "Gadgil effect". At the same time, root exclusion decreased Mn-peroxidase activity in the deeper mor layer by 91%. Our results show that ectomycorrhizal fungi may hamper short-term litter decomposition, but also support a crucial role of ectomycorrhizal fungi in driving long-term organic matter oxidation. These observations stress the importance of ectomycorrhizal fungi in regulation of below-ground organic matter accumulation. By different mechanisms they may either hamper or stimulate decomposition, depending upon stage of decomposition and location in the soil profile.

Publicerad i

ISME Journal
2018, Volym: 12, nummer: 9, sidor: 2187-2197