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Highly competitive fungi manipulate bacterial communities in decomposing beech wood (Fagus sylvativa)

Johnston, Sarah, Hiscox, Jennifer, Savoury, Melanie, Boddy, Lynne and Weightman, Andrew 2019. Highly competitive fungi manipulate bacterial communities in decomposing beech wood (Fagus sylvativa). FEMS Microbiology Ecology 95 (2) 10.1093/femsec/fiy225

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The bacterial communities in decomposing wood are receiving increased attention, but their interactions with wood-decay fungi are poorly understood. This is the first field study to test the hypothesis that fungi are responsible for driving bacterial communities in beech wood (Fagus sylvatica). A meta-genetic approach was used to characterise bacterial and fungal communities in wood that had been laboratory-colonised with known wood-decay fungi, and left for a year at six woodland sites. Alpha-, Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria and Acidobacteria were the proportionally dominant bacterial taxa, as in previous studies. Pre-colonising wood with decay fungi had a clear effect on the bacterial community, apparently via direct fungal influence; the bacterial and fungal communities present at the time of collection explained nearly 60% of their mutual covariance. Site was less important than fungal influence in determining bacterial communities, but the effects of pre-colonisation were more pronounced at some sites than at others. Wood pH was also a strong bacterial predictor, but was itself under considerable fungal influence. Burkholderiaceae and Acidobacteriaceae showed directional responses against the trend of the bacterial community as a whole.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0168-6496
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 November 2018
Date of Acceptance: 8 November 2018
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2022 11:41

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