The University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS) was founded in 1909.
Impacts of experimentally accelerated forest succession on belowground plant and fungal communities
|Title||Impacts of experimentally accelerated forest succession on belowground plant and fungal communities|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Authors||Castillo BT, Nave LE, Le Moine JM, James TY, Nadelhoffer KJ|
|Journal||Soil Biology and Biochemistry|
|Pagination||44 - 53|
Understanding how soil processes, belowground plant and fungal species composition, and nutrient cycles are altered by disturbances is essential for understanding the role forests play in mitigating global climate change. Here we ask: How are root and fungal communities altered in a mid-successional forest during shifts in dominant tree species composition? This study utilizes the Forest Accelerated Succession ExperimenT (FASET) at the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS) as a platform for addressing this question. FASET consists of a 39-ha treatment in which all mature early successional aspen (Populus spp.) and paper birch (Betula papyrifera) were killed by stem-girdling in 2008. Four years after girdling, neither overall fungal diversity indices, plant diversity indices, nor root biomass differed between girdled (treated) and non-girdled (reference) stands. However, experimental advancement of succession by removal of aspen and birch resulted in 1) a shift in fungal functional groups, with significantly less ectomycorrhizal fungi, 2) a trend toward less arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and 3) a significant increase in the proportion of saprotrophs in girdled stands. In addition to shifts in functional groups between treated and untreated stands, ectomycorrhizal fungi proportions were negatively correlated with NH4+ and total dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) in soil. This research illustrates the propensity for disturbances in forest ecosystems to shift fungal community composition, which has implications for carbon storage and nutrient cycling in soils under future climate scenarios.