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Changes within a single land-use category alter microbial diversity and community structure: Molecular evidence from wood-inhabiting fungi in forest ecosystems

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Schulze,  Ernst Detlef
Emeritus Group, Prof. E.-D. Schulze, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Purahong, W., Hoppe, B., Kahl, T., Schloter, M., Schulze, E. D., Bauhus, J., et al. (2014). Changes within a single land-use category alter microbial diversity and community structure: Molecular evidence from wood-inhabiting fungi in forest ecosystems. Journal of Environmental Management, 139, 109-119. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.02.031.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-001A-019A-4
Abstract
The impact of changes within a single land-use category or land-use intensity on microbial communities is poorly understood, especially with respect to fungi. Here we assessed how forest management regimes and a change in forest type affect the richness and community structure of wood-inhabiting fungi across Germany. We used molecular methods based on the length polymorphism of the internal transcribed spacers and the 5.8S rRNA gene to assess fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs). A cloning/ sequencing approach was used to identify taxonomic affinities of the fungal OTUs. Overall, 20e24% and 25e27% of native fungal OTUs from forest reserves and semi-natural forests became undetectable or were lost in managed and converted forests, respectively. Fungal richness was significantly reduced during a regeneration phase in age-class beech forests with a high level of wood extraction (P ¼ 0.017), whereas fungal community structures were not significantly affected. Conversion of forests from native, deciduous to coniferous species caused significant changes in the fungal community structure (R ¼ 0.64e0.66, P ¼ 0.0001) and could reduce fungal richness (P < 0.05) which may depend on which coniferous species was introduced. Our results showed that Ascocoryne cylichnium, Armillaria sp., Exophiala moniliae, Hyphodontia subalutacea and Fomes fomentarius, all known for wood-decaying abilities were strongly reduced in their abundances when forests were converted from beech to coniferous. We conclude that changes within a single land-use category can be regarded as a major threat to fungal diversity in temperate forest ecosystems.