Biogeography of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal spore traits along an aridity gradient, and responses to experimental rainfall manipulation
Nielsen, Uffe N.
Boer, Matthias M.
Power, Sally A.
Bennett, Alison E.
Powell, Jeff R.
KeywordArbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
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CitationDeveautour, C., Chieppa, J., Nielsen, U. N., Boer, M. M., Mitchell, C., Horn, S., Power, S. A., Guillen, A., Bennett, A. E., Powell, J. R. Biogeography of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal spore traits along an aridity gradient, and responses to experimental rainfall manipulation, Fungal Ecology, 2020, 46, 100899. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.funeco.2019.100899
AbstractSpore size, colour and melanin content are hypothesised to be functional in relation to environmental stress. Here, we studied AM fungal spores in arid environments of Australia and in an experimental platform simulating altered rainfall. We used microscopy and image analysis to measure spore colour and size, and a quantitative colorimetric assay to estimate melanin content in spores. In arid sites, melanin content tended to increase with increasing aridity. We observed a large range of spore colours at all sites but found a higher proportion of both dark and light spores, and fewer intermediate colours, in drier sites. Spore abundance and size varied among sites, but neither were related to aridity. In the experimental platform established in a grassland, we found no evidence that altered rainfall influenced spore traits. This study identifies traits associated with environmental stress to inform future work into AM fungal life history and assembly processes.
FunderAustralian Research Council; Hermon Slade Foundation; OECD Co-operative Research Programme Secretariat; Trade and Agriculture Directorate; Stapledon Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship; Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment Research Exchange Program; Royal Entomological Society Outreach Fund; British Ecological Society Grant; the Scottish Government Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division; University of Valencia
Grant NumberDP140103936; DP140103936; UV-INV_PREDOC15-265696; INV18-01-14-01
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