Plant assemblage composition and soil P concentration differentially affect communities of AM and total fungi in a semi-arid grassland

Rim Klabi, Terrence H. Bell, Chantal Hamel, Alan Iwaasa, Mike Schellenberg, Aly Raies, Marc St-Arnaud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Adding inorganic P- and N-fixing legumes to semi-arid grasslands can increase forage yield, but soil nutrient concentrations and plant cover may also interact to modify soil fungal populations, impacting short- and long-term forage production. We tested the effect of plant assemblage (seven native grasses, seven native grasses + the domesticated N-fixing legume Medicago sativa, seven native grasses + the native N-fixing legume Dalea purpurea or the introduced grass Bromus biebersteinii + M. sativa) and soil P concentration (addition of 0 or 200 P2O5 kg ha-1 at sowing) on the diversity and community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and total fungi over two consecutive years, using 454-pyrosequencing of 18S rDNA and ITS amplicons. Treatment effects were stronger in the wet year (2008) than the dry year (2009). The presence of an N-fixing legume with native grasses generally increased AM fungal diversity, while the interaction between soil P concentration and plant assemblage modified total fungal community structure in 2008. Excluding interannual variations, which are likely driven by moisture and plant productivity, AM fungal communities in semi-arid grasslands appear to be primarily affected by plant assemblage composition, while the composition of other fungi is more closely linked to soil P.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFEMS microbiology ecology
Volume91
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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