Fungal communities and their association with nitrogen-fixing bacteria affect early decomposition of Norway spruce deadwood

María Gómez-Brandón, Maraike Probst, José A. Siles, Ursula Peintner, Tommaso Bardelli, Markus Egli, Heribert Insam, Judith Ascher-Jenull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Deadwood decomposition is relevant in nature and wood inhabiting fungi (WIF) are its main decomposers. However, climate influence on WIF community and their interactions with bacteria are poorly understood. Therefore, we set up an in-field mesocosm experiment in the Italian Alps and monitored the effect of slope exposure (north- vs. south-facing slope) on the decomposition of Picea abies wood blocks and their microbiome over two years. Unlike fungal richness and diversity, we observed compositional and functional differences in the WIF communities as a function of exposure. Wood-degrading operational taxonomic units (OTUs) such as Mycena, and mycorrhizal and endophytic OTUs were characteristic of the south-facing slope. On the north-facing one, Mucoromycota, primarily Mucor, were abundant and mixotrophic basidiomycetes with limited lignin-degrading capacities had a higher prevalence compared to the southern slope. The colder, more humid conditions and prolonged snow-coverage at north exposure likely influenced the development of the wood-degrading microbial communities. Networks between WIF and N2-fixing bacteria were composed of higher numbers of interacting microbial units and showed denser connections at the south-facing slope. The association of WIF to N2-fixing Burkholderiales and Rhizobiales could have provided additional competitive advantages, especially for early wood colonization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8025
JournalScientific Reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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