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DNA metabarcoding reveals host-specific communities of arthropods residing in fungal fruit bodies

Lunde, Lisa Fagerli, Birkemoe, Tone, Kauserud, Håvard, Boddy, Lynne ORCID:, Jacobsen, Rannveig M., Morgado, Luis, Sverdrup-Thygeson, Anne and Maurice, Sundy 2022. DNA metabarcoding reveals host-specific communities of arthropods residing in fungal fruit bodies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 289 (1968) , 20212622. 10.1098/rspb.2021.2622

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Biological communities within living organisms are structured by their host's traits. How host traits affect biodiversity and community composition is poorly explored for some associations, such as arthropods within fungal fruit bodies. Using DNA metabarcoding, we characterized the arthropod communities in living fruit bodies of 11 wood-decay fungi from boreal forests and investigated how they were affected by different fungal traits. Arthropod diversity was higher in fruit bodies with a larger surface area-to-volume ratio, suggesting that colonization is crucial to maintain arthropod populations. Diversity was not higher in long-lived fruit bodies, most likely because these fungi invest in physical or chemical defences against arthropods. Arthropod community composition was structured by all measured host traits, namely fruit body size, thickness, surface area, morphology and toughness. Notably, we identified a community gradient where soft and short-lived fruit bodies harboured more true flies, while tougher and long-lived fruit bodies had more oribatid mites and beetles, which might reflect different development times of the arthropods. Ultimately, close to 75% of the arthropods were specific to one or two fungal hosts. Besides revealing surprisingly diverse and host-specific arthropod communities within fungal fruit bodies, our study provided insight into how host traits structure communities.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Additional Information: Published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
Publisher: The Royal Society
ISSN: 0962-8452
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 February 2022
Date of Acceptance: 4 January 2022
Last Modified: 17 May 2023 00:25

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