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Contrasting Effects of Elevated Temperature and Invertebrate Grazing Regulate Multispecies Interactions between Decomposer Fungi

A'Bear, Andrew Donald, Murray, William, Webb, Rachel, Boddy, Lynne ORCID: and Jones, Thomas Hefin ORCID: 2013. Contrasting Effects of Elevated Temperature and Invertebrate Grazing Regulate Multispecies Interactions between Decomposer Fungi. PLoS ONE 8 (10) , e77610. 10.1371/journal.pone.0077610

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Predicting the influence of biotic and abiotic factors on species interactions and ecosystem processes is among the primary aims of community ecologists. The composition of saprotrophic fungal communities is a consequence of competitive mycelial interactions, and a major determinant of woodland decomposition and nutrient cycling rates. Elevation of atmospheric temperature is predicted to drive changes in fungal community development. Top-down regulation of mycelial growth is an important determinant of, and moderator of temperature-driven changes to, two-species interaction outcomes. This study explores the interactive effects of a 4 °C temperature increase and soil invertebrate (collembola or woodlice) grazing on multispecies interactions between cord-forming basidiomycete fungi emerging from colonised beech (Fagus sylvatica) wood blocks. The fungal dominance hierarchy at ambient temperature (16 °C; Phanerochaete velutina > Resinicium bicolor > Hypholoma fasciculare) was altered by elevated temperature (20 °C; R. bicolor > P. velutina > H. fasciculare) in ungrazed systems. Warming promoted the competitive ability of the fungal species (R. bicolor) that was preferentially grazed by all invertebrate species. As a consequence, grazing prevented the effect of temperature on fungal community development and maintained a multispecies assemblage. Decomposition of fungal-colonised wood was stimulated by warming, with implications for increased CO2 efflux from woodland soil. Analogous to aboveground plant communities, increasing complexity of biotic and abiotic interactions appears to be important in buffering climate change effects on soil decomposers.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QR Microbiology
Additional Information: Online publication date: 23 October 2013.
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Funders: NERC NERC/I527861
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 24 May 2023 20:02

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