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1. Along gradients in land use intensity the taxon diversity (and abundance) of AMF and plants will be positively correlated.
Our study will be the first to relate AMF taxon diversity (and abundance) and plant diversity in the field using molecular methods for AMF.

2. Increasing land use intensity will lead to decreased soil aggregation characteristics, in part as a consequence of decreased AMF abundance and/ or diversity.
One of the first landscape scale investigations on soil aggregation across complex land use gradients with an explicit link to mycorrhiza or plant diversity.

3. Specifically, AMF diversity has a causal relationship with soil aggregation.


Our central hypothesis is that with increasing diversity of plant or micro organisms (especially arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, AMF) soil aggregation will increase. Mechanisms can be seen both in the complementarity of aggregation factors and the organism abundance.

The field work along land use gradients in forest and grassland is complemented by greenhouse studies in which especially the factor AMF-diversity is separated. We expect in this project many-fold co-operations with other projects within the exploratory community (e.g. data exchange to important soil taxa and ecosystem processes in grasslands), as well as new insights in the organismic role in soil aggregation in general.


Currently we work on soil samples collected in all exploratories. We measure root length and weigth, abundance of AMF in roots (root infection) and soil (hyphae length), and soil aggregation (size distribution). We currently test which molecular-ecological tools are suitable for the sample sizes. We will identify plots with high and low AFM diversity to use them in further greenhouse experiments.


Doc
Unterdrückt Herbivorie wirklich Mykorrhiza? Eine Meta-Analyse
Barto E. K., Rillig M. C. (2010): Does herbivory really suppress mycorrhiza? A meta-analysis. Journal of Ecology 98, 745–753
More information:  doi.org
Doc
Beitrag von biotischen und abiotischen Faktoren zur Bodenaggregation über einen Landnutzungsgradienten
Barto K., Alt F., Oelmann Y., Wilcke W., Rillig M. C. (2010): Contributions of biotic and abiotic factors to soil aggregation across a land use gradient. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 42 (12), 2316-2324. doi: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2010.09.008
More information:  doi.org
Doc
Sind Potenzgesetze, welche die fraktale Dimension berechnen, eine gute Kennzeichnung für Bodenstruktur und ihren Zusammenhang mit biologischen Bodeneigenschaften?
Caruso T., E. Barto K. E., Siddiky Md. R. K., Smigelski J., Rillig M. C. (2011): Are power laws that estimate fractal dimension a good descriptor of soil structure and its link to soil biological properties? Soil Biology and Biochemistry 43 (2), 359-366. doi: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2010.11.001
More information:  doi.org
Doc
Landnutzung und Effekt des Nachbarn auf die Zusammensetzung der Wurzelpilzgemeinschaft
Morris (Barto) K. E., Buscot F., Herbst C., Meiners T., Obermaier E., Wäschke N., Wubet T., Rillig M. C. (2013): Land use and host neighbor identity effects on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community composition in focal plant rhizosphere. Biodiversity and Conservation 22 (10), 2193-2205. doi: 10.1007/s10531-013-0527-z
More information:  doi.org
Doc
Indizes für Biodiversität auf dem Prüfstand
Morris K. E., Caruso T., Buscot F., Fischer M., Hancock C., Maier T. S., Meiners T., Müller C., Obermaier E., Prati D., Socher S., Sonnemann I., Wäschke N., Wubet T., Wurst S., Rillig M. C. (2014): Choosing and using diversity indices: insights for ecological applications from the German Biodiversity Exploratories. Ecology and Evolution 4 (18), 3514–3524. doi: 10.1002/ece3.1155
More information:  doi.org

Scientific assistants

Prof. Dr. Matthias Rillig
Project manager
Prof. Dr. Matthias Rillig
Freie Universität Berlin
PhD Kathryn Barto
Employee
PhD Kathryn Barto
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