Functional diversity of mycorrhiza in relation to land-use changes and ecosystem functions

Scientific investigators:

Prof. Dr. Andrea Polle

Dr. Feng Huanying

Silke Ammerschubert

Anis M. Khokon

Bin Song

Prof. Dr. Oliver Gailing (assoc.)

Dr. Markus Müller (assoc.)

(Uni Göttingen)

The project ECTOMYC addresses species richness and ecosystem functions of ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungal assemblages.

In the current project we will analyze:

(i) uptake of nitrate and ammonium by roots of mature host trees in relation to environmental filtering and ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungal community composition

(ii) environmental and host-related factors as drivers of vertical and horizontal variation of root associated fungal (RAF) communities.

We found that soil concentrations of ammonium and nitrate differ among the Exploratories and between beech- and conifer-dominated forests and that EM exhibit differences in uptake and translocation of ammonium and nitrate. Here, we plan to study host effects and seasonality on nitrate and ammonium uptake patterns. Data on the dynamics of nitrate and ammonium in relation to biogeographic and temporal variation of EM assemblages are required for an improved understanding of ecosystem processes and the effect of management of tree composition.

We found differential host-effects on the composition of fungal guilds on conifer and beech roots. We will dissect vertical (organic layer, mineral top soil) and biogeographic variation of fungal guilds to test the hypothesis that EM assemblies show stronger vertical (niche) differentiation than other fungal guilds (saprophytic, pathogenic, endophytic fungi) and that EM diversity, but not that of other fungal guilds, is related to root traits (morphology, nutrients).


Project in previous phases