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Title: Fungal Communities and Functional Guilds Shift Along an Elevational Gradient in the Southern Appalachian Mountains

Abstract

Nitrogen deposition alters forest ecosystems particularly in high elevation, montane habitats where nitrogen deposition is greatest and continues to increase. We collected soils across an elevational (788–1940 m) gradient, encompassing both abiotic (soil chemistry) and biotic (vegetation community) gradients, at eight locations in the southern Appalachian Mountains of southwestern North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. We measured soil chemistry (total N, C, extractable PO 4, soil pH, cation exchange capacity [ECEC], percent base saturation [% BS]) and dissected soil fungal communities using ITS2 metabarcode Illumina MiSeq sequencing. Total soil N, C, PO 4, % BS, and pH increased with elevation and plateaued at approximately 1400 m, whereas ECEC linearly increased and C/N decreased with elevation. Fungal communities differed among locations and were correlated with all chemical variables, except PO 4, whereas OTU richness increased with total N. Several ecological guilds (i.e., ectomycorrhizae, saprotrophs, plant pathogens) differed in abundance among locations; specifically, saprotroph abundance, primarily attributable to genus Mortierella, was positively correlated with elevation. Ectomycorrhizae declined with total N and soil pH and increased with total C and PO 4 where plant pathogens increased with total N and decreased with total C. Finally, our results demonstrate significant turnover in taxonomic and functionalmore » fungal groups across elevational gradients which facilitate future predictions on forest ecosystem change in the southern Appalachians as nitrogen deposition rates increase and regional temperature and precipitation regimes shift.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5]
  1. Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS (United States). Division of Biology; Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Biosciences Division
  2. Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State, MS (United States). Dept. of Forest Products; Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State, MS (United States). Dept. of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology, and Plant Pathology
  3. US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)., Otto, NC (United States). Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Center for Forest Watershed Research, Coweeta Hydrologic Lab.
  4. Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS (United States). Division of Biology
  5. Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State, MS (United States). Dept. of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology, and Plant Pathology
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1460223
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; DEB0218001; DEB0823293
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Microbial Ecology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 76; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0095-3628
Publisher:
Springer
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Veach, Allison M., Stokes, C. Elizabeth, Knoepp, Jennifer, Jumpponen, Ari, and Baird, Richard. Fungal Communities and Functional Guilds Shift Along an Elevational Gradient in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1007/s00248-017-1116-6.
Veach, Allison M., Stokes, C. Elizabeth, Knoepp, Jennifer, Jumpponen, Ari, & Baird, Richard. Fungal Communities and Functional Guilds Shift Along an Elevational Gradient in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. United States. doi:10.1007/s00248-017-1116-6.
Veach, Allison M., Stokes, C. Elizabeth, Knoepp, Jennifer, Jumpponen, Ari, and Baird, Richard. Mon . "Fungal Communities and Functional Guilds Shift Along an Elevational Gradient in the Southern Appalachian Mountains". United States. doi:10.1007/s00248-017-1116-6. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1460223.
@article{osti_1460223,
title = {Fungal Communities and Functional Guilds Shift Along an Elevational Gradient in the Southern Appalachian Mountains},
author = {Veach, Allison M. and Stokes, C. Elizabeth and Knoepp, Jennifer and Jumpponen, Ari and Baird, Richard},
abstractNote = {Nitrogen deposition alters forest ecosystems particularly in high elevation, montane habitats where nitrogen deposition is greatest and continues to increase. We collected soils across an elevational (788–1940 m) gradient, encompassing both abiotic (soil chemistry) and biotic (vegetation community) gradients, at eight locations in the southern Appalachian Mountains of southwestern North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. We measured soil chemistry (total N, C, extractable PO4, soil pH, cation exchange capacity [ECEC], percent base saturation [% BS]) and dissected soil fungal communities using ITS2 metabarcode Illumina MiSeq sequencing. Total soil N, C, PO4, % BS, and pH increased with elevation and plateaued at approximately 1400 m, whereas ECEC linearly increased and C/N decreased with elevation. Fungal communities differed among locations and were correlated with all chemical variables, except PO4, whereas OTU richness increased with total N. Several ecological guilds (i.e., ectomycorrhizae, saprotrophs, plant pathogens) differed in abundance among locations; specifically, saprotroph abundance, primarily attributable to genus Mortierella, was positively correlated with elevation. Ectomycorrhizae declined with total N and soil pH and increased with total C and PO4 where plant pathogens increased with total N and decreased with total C. Finally, our results demonstrate significant turnover in taxonomic and functional fungal groups across elevational gradients which facilitate future predictions on forest ecosystem change in the southern Appalachians as nitrogen deposition rates increase and regional temperature and precipitation regimes shift.},
doi = {10.1007/s00248-017-1116-6},
journal = {Microbial Ecology},
number = 1,
volume = 76,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {12}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

Introducing mothur: Open-Source, Platform-Independent, Community-Supported Software for Describing and Comparing Microbial Communities
journal, October 2009

  • Schloss, P. D.; Westcott, S. L.; Ryabin, T.
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