Pedosphere 29(3): 344--359, 2019
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2019 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Ectomycorrhizal and Saprotrophic Fungal Communities Vary Across mm-Scale Soil Microsites Differing in Phosphatase Activity
Aaron GODIN1, Denise BROOKS2, Sue J. GRAYSTON2, Melanie D. JONES1
1Biology Department, University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus, Kelowna V1V 1V7(Canada);
2Department of Forest & Conservation Sciences, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver V6T 1Z4(Canada)
      To understand nutrient cycling in soils, soil processes and microorganisms need be better characterized. To determine whether specific trophic groups of fungi are associated with soil enzyme activity, we used soil imprinting to guide mm-scale sampling from microsites with high and low phosphatase activities in birch/Douglas-fir stands. Study 1 involved sampling one root window per site at 12 sites of different ages (stands); study 2 was conducted at one of the stem-exclusion stands, at which 5 root windows had been installed. Total fungal and ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungal terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) fingerprints differed between high-and low-phosphatase activity microsites at 8 of 12 root windows across 12 sites. Where differences were detected, fewer EM fungi were detected in high-than low-phosphatase activity microsites. Using 5 root windows at one site, next-generation sequencing detected similar fungal communities across microsites, but the ratio of saprotrophic to EM fungal reads was higher in high-phosphatase activity microsites in the two windows that had low EM fungal richness. In windows with differences in fungal communities, both studies indicated that EM fungi were less successful than saprotrophic fungi in colonizing fine-scale, organic matter-rich microsites. Fine-scale sampling linked with in situ detection of enzyme activity revealed relationships between soil fungal communities and phosphatase activity that could not be observed at the scales employed by conventional approaches, thereby contributing to the understanding of fine-scale phosphorus cycling in forest soils.
Key Words:  ectomycorrhizae,fine scale,fungal communities,phosphatase,root windows,saprotrophic fungi,soil imprinting
Citation: Godin A, Brooks D, Grayston S J, Jones M D. 2019. Ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic fungal communities vary across mm-scale soil microsites differing in phosphatase activity. Pedosphere. 29(3):344-359.
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