You are here: Home
/ Publication Information
Title: Fire-severity effects on plant-fungal interactions after a novel tundra wildfire disturbance: implications for arctic shrub and tree migration
Author: Hewitt, Rebecca E.; Hollingsworth, Teresa N.; Stuart Chapin III, F.; Lee Taylor, D.;
Source: BMC Ecology
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Description: Background: Vegetation change in high latitude tundra ecosystems is expected to accelerate due to increased wildfire activity. High-severity fires increase the availability of mineral soil seedbeds, which facilitates recruitment, yet fire also alters soil microbial composition, which could significantly impact seedling establishment.
Results: We investigated the effects of fire severity on soil biota and associated effects on plant performance for two plant species predicted to expand into Arctic tundra. We inoculated seedlings in a growth chamber experiment with soils collected from the largest tundra fire recorded in the Arctic and used molecular tools to characterize root-associated fungal communities. Seedling biomass was significantly related to the composition of fungal inoculum. Biomass decreased as fire severity increased and the proportion of pathogenic fungi increased.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that effects of fire severity on soil biota reduces seedling performance and thus we hypothesize that in certain ecological contexts fire-severity effects on plant–fungal interactions may dampen the expected increases in tree and shrub establishment after tundra fire.
Keywords: Alnus viridis, Arctic tundra, ARISA, Climate change, Fire severity, Fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS), Picea mariana, Shrub expansion, Treeline
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
XML: View XML
Hewitt, Rebecca E.; Hollingsworth, Teresa N.; Stuart Chapin III, F.; Lee Taylor, D. 2016. Fire-severity effects on plant-fungal interactions after a novel tundra wildfire disturbance: implications for arctic shrub and tree migration. BMC Ecology. 16(1): 546-.
Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility