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Title: Simulated nitrogen deposition affects community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in northern hardwood forests

Author: Van Diepen, Linda T.A.; Lilleskov, Erik; Pregitzer, Kurt S.;

Date: 2011

Source: Molecular Ecology. 20: 799-811.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Our previous investigation found elevated nitrogen deposition caused declines in abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) associated with forest trees, but little is known about how nitrogen affects the AMF community composition and structure within forest ecosystems. We hypothesized that N deposition would lead to significant changes in the AMF community structure. We studied the diversity and community structure of AMF in northern hardwood forests after more than 12 years of simulated nitrogen deposition. We performed molecular analyses on maple (Acer spp.) roots targeting the 18S rDNA region using the fungal-specific primers AM1 and NS31. PCR products were cloned and identified using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and sequencing. N addition significantly altered the AMF community structure, and Glomus group A dominated the AMF community. Some Glomus operational taxonomic units (OTUs) responded negatively to N inputs, whereas other Glomus OTUs and an Acaulospora OTU responded positively to N inputs. The observed effect on community structure implies that AMF species associated with maples differ in their response to elevated nitrogen. Given that functional diversity exists among AMF species and that N deposition has been shown to select less beneficial fungi in some ecosystems, this change in community structure could have implications for the functioning of this type of ecosystem.

Keywords: arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, community structure, forest, nitrogen, phylogeny, ribosomal DNA, sugar maple (Acer saccharum)

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Van Diepen, Linda T.A.; Lilleskov, Eric A.; Pregitzer, Kurt S. 2011. Simulated nitrogen deposition affects community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in northern hardwood forests. Molecular Ecology. 20: 799-811.


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