Project phase 2017-2020

Core project 8 - Microorganisms: Soil fungal diversity and community composition of grassland and forest ecosystems along land-use gradients in three German Biodiversity Explanatories

 

Scientific investigators:

Prof. Dr. Francois Buscot

Dr. Tesfaye Wubet

Dr. Kezia Goldmann

Ali Nawaz

Beatrix Schnabel

Ricardo Schöps

(Helmholtz Centre For Environmental Research -UFZ, Halle)

Microorganisms, especially fungi and bacteria, have a significant role in soil e.g. by decomposing organic substances into smaller parts and by acting as symbionts and enrich the growth and health of plants. Beside the interaction between plants and soil microorganisms, environmental changes such as land-use and forest management can shape the microbial community. However, there is a limited knowledge to which extent the microbial diversity and composition is influenced by these factors.

 

Objectives

The main objective of this core project Microorganisms is to monitor the soil fungal community in all 300 grassland and forest experimental plots (EPs). Next to coordinated soil sampling campaigns in May 2011 and 2014 this core project will organize an upcoming sampling on all 100 EPs of the Hainich-Exploratory in May 2017.

Furthermore, synthesis activity between the core project and other projects, e.g. Norbert Hölzel, University of Münster or Ellen Kandeler and Sven Marhan, University of Hohenheim.

 

Goals

The goals in the current phase (2017-2020) are:

1. Monitoring of the soil microbial community to assess the temporal effects of land-use and forest management (soil samples from 2011, 2014 und 2017).
2. Studying the diversity of arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMF) in all EPs.
3. Analyzes of the resilience of soil fungal diversity to disturbance and seed addition in grassland ecosystems (SADE).
4. Determination of seasonal shifts in the soil fungal community in response to land-use intensity and disturbance.

 

Methods:

Soil microbial DNA extraction and quantification, amplicon library preparation and Next-Generation-Sequencing with Illumina MiSeq, bioinformatics (MOTHUR & QIIME) and multivariate statistics.

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Project phase 2014 - 2017

Scientific investigators:

Prof. Dr. Francois Buscot

Dr. Tesfaye Wubet

Dr. Kathrin Patsias

Sandra Klemmer

Kezia Goldmann

Beatrix Schnabel

Ricardo Schöps

(Helmholtz Centre For Environmental Research -UFZ, Halle)

In this phase the main objective of core project 8 is to use an improved strategy to monitor soil fungi in all experimental plots (EPs) with an emphasis on functional relationships between the plants and their rhizosphere mycobiom along land-use and management gradients.

 

Goals

1.    Characterize the key players of the grassland rhizosphere fungal community and find the factors influencing their diversity and community composition.

2.    Study the relationship between grassland plant traits, land-use intensity and the plant rhizosphere mycobiome.

3.    Assess the significance of beech ecotypes in shaping specific rhizosphere mycobiomes under variable management and environmental conditions.

4.    Monitor land-use intensity and management effects on the soil fungal diversity and community composition.

 

Hypotheses

H1: The diversity and community composition of the active rhizosphere mycobiomes in grassland changes in relation to both plant functional groups and soil parameters.

H2: Differences in plant species mycobiome compositions are related to variation in plant traits, land-use intensity and environmental variables.

H3: The patterns of plant-fungal interaction networks are shaped by plant ecotype.

H4: Land-use and forest management types affect the fungal community composition.

 

Methods:

Soil microbial DNA extraction, Amplicon library preparation and Next-Generation-Sequencing technologies, Bioinformatics (MOTHUR & QIIME) and multivariate statistics.

Collaboration in sample collection and data analysis with other projects:

-    ProFIL
-    SCALEMIC
-    NanoFaun
-    Botanik
-    Boden (Abiotik)
-    BELOW
-    InDiLaNi

 

Previous project contribution of Prof. Dr. Francois Buscot: Soil (biotic), SOILFUNGI, Funwood I-III, BLD-FFD-HZG II, MicroSYSteM II

Previous project contribution of Dr. Tesfaye Wubet: SOILFUNGI, Soil (biotic)

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