Lost in diversity: the interactions between soil-borne fungi, biodiversity and plant productivity

L. Mommer, Anne Cotton, J.M. Raaijmakers, A.J. Termorshuizen, J. van Ruijven, Marloes Hendriks, Sophie van Rijssel, J.E. van de Mortel, J.W.M. van der Paauw, E.G.W.M. Schijlen, Annemiek Smit-Tiekstra, F. Berendse, Hans de Kroon, A.J. Dumbrell

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29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is consensus that plant species richness enhances plant productivity within natural grasslands, but the underlying drivers remain debated. Recently, differential accumulation of soil-borne fungal pathogens across the plant diversity gradient has been proposed as a cause of this pattern. However, the below-ground environment has generally been treated as a 'black box' in biodiversity experiments, leaving these fungi unidentified. Using next generation sequencing and pathogenicity assays, we analysed the community composition of root-associated fungi from a biodiversity experiment to examine if evidence exists for host specificity and negative density dependence in the interplay between soil-borne fungi, plant diversity and productivity. Plant species were colonised by distinct (pathogenic) fungal communities and isolated fungal species showed negative, species-specific effects on plant growth. Moreover, 57% of the pathogenic fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) recorded in plant monocultures were not detected in eight plant species plots, suggesting a loss of pathogenic OTUs with plant diversity. Our work provides strong evidence for host specificity and negative density-dependent effects of root-associated fungi on plant species in grasslands. Our work substantiates the hypothesis that fungal root pathogens are an important driver of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-553
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume218
Issue number2
Early online date22 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

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Biodiversity
Fungi
Soil
biodiversity
fungi
soil
host specificity
Host Specificity
grasslands
fungal communities
plant pathogens
pathogenicity
plant growth
Ecosystem
Virulence
species diversity
ecosystems
pathogens
assays

Cite this

Mommer, L., Cotton, A., Raaijmakers, J. M., Termorshuizen, A. J., van Ruijven, J., Hendriks, M., ... Dumbrell, A. J. (2018). Lost in diversity: the interactions between soil-borne fungi, biodiversity and plant productivity. New Phytologist, 218(2), 542-553. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.15036
Mommer, L. ; Cotton, Anne ; Raaijmakers, J.M. ; Termorshuizen, A.J. ; van Ruijven, J. ; Hendriks, Marloes ; van Rijssel, Sophie ; van de Mortel, J.E. ; van der Paauw, J.W.M. ; Schijlen, E.G.W.M. ; Smit-Tiekstra, Annemiek ; Berendse, F. ; de Kroon, Hans ; Dumbrell, A.J. / Lost in diversity: the interactions between soil-borne fungi, biodiversity and plant productivity. In: New Phytologist. 2018 ; Vol. 218, No. 2. pp. 542-553.
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Mommer, L, Cotton, A, Raaijmakers, JM, Termorshuizen, AJ, van Ruijven, J, Hendriks, M, van Rijssel, S, van de Mortel, JE, van der Paauw, JWM, Schijlen, EGWM, Smit-Tiekstra, A, Berendse, F, de Kroon, H & Dumbrell, AJ 2018, 'Lost in diversity: the interactions between soil-borne fungi, biodiversity and plant productivity', New Phytologist, vol. 218, no. 2, pp. 542-553. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.15036

Lost in diversity: the interactions between soil-borne fungi, biodiversity and plant productivity. / Mommer, L.; Cotton, Anne; Raaijmakers, J.M.; Termorshuizen, A.J.; van Ruijven, J.; Hendriks, Marloes; van Rijssel, Sophie; van de Mortel, J.E.; van der Paauw, J.W.M.; Schijlen, E.G.W.M.; Smit-Tiekstra, Annemiek; Berendse, F.; de Kroon, Hans; Dumbrell, A.J.

In: New Phytologist, Vol. 218, No. 2, 04.2018, p. 542-553.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - Lost in diversity: the interactions between soil-borne fungi, biodiversity and plant productivity

AU - Mommer, L.

AU - Cotton, Anne

AU - Raaijmakers, J.M.

AU - Termorshuizen, A.J.

AU - van Ruijven, J.

AU - Hendriks, Marloes

AU - van Rijssel, Sophie

AU - van de Mortel, J.E.

AU - van der Paauw, J.W.M.

AU - Schijlen, E.G.W.M.

AU - Smit-Tiekstra, Annemiek

AU - Berendse, F.

AU - de Kroon, Hans

AU - Dumbrell, A.J.

PY - 2018/4

Y1 - 2018/4

N2 - There is consensus that plant species richness enhances plant productivity within natural grasslands, but the underlying drivers remain debated. Recently, differential accumulation of soil-borne fungal pathogens across the plant diversity gradient has been proposed as a cause of this pattern. However, the below-ground environment has generally been treated as a 'black box' in biodiversity experiments, leaving these fungi unidentified. Using next generation sequencing and pathogenicity assays, we analysed the community composition of root-associated fungi from a biodiversity experiment to examine if evidence exists for host specificity and negative density dependence in the interplay between soil-borne fungi, plant diversity and productivity. Plant species were colonised by distinct (pathogenic) fungal communities and isolated fungal species showed negative, species-specific effects on plant growth. Moreover, 57% of the pathogenic fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) recorded in plant monocultures were not detected in eight plant species plots, suggesting a loss of pathogenic OTUs with plant diversity. Our work provides strong evidence for host specificity and negative density-dependent effects of root-associated fungi on plant species in grasslands. Our work substantiates the hypothesis that fungal root pathogens are an important driver of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships.

AB - There is consensus that plant species richness enhances plant productivity within natural grasslands, but the underlying drivers remain debated. Recently, differential accumulation of soil-borne fungal pathogens across the plant diversity gradient has been proposed as a cause of this pattern. However, the below-ground environment has generally been treated as a 'black box' in biodiversity experiments, leaving these fungi unidentified. Using next generation sequencing and pathogenicity assays, we analysed the community composition of root-associated fungi from a biodiversity experiment to examine if evidence exists for host specificity and negative density dependence in the interplay between soil-borne fungi, plant diversity and productivity. Plant species were colonised by distinct (pathogenic) fungal communities and isolated fungal species showed negative, species-specific effects on plant growth. Moreover, 57% of the pathogenic fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) recorded in plant monocultures were not detected in eight plant species plots, suggesting a loss of pathogenic OTUs with plant diversity. Our work provides strong evidence for host specificity and negative density-dependent effects of root-associated fungi on plant species in grasslands. Our work substantiates the hypothesis that fungal root pathogens are an important driver of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships.

U2 - 10.1111/nph.15036

DO - 10.1111/nph.15036

M3 - Article

VL - 218

SP - 542

EP - 553

JO - New Phytologist

JF - New Phytologist

SN - 0028-646X

IS - 2

ER -