Transient leaf endophytes are the most active fungi in 1-year-old beech leaf litter
The ecological significance of fungi occurring asymptomatically inside living plant leaves is poorly understood. Given the broad saprotrophic potential of many endophytic fungi, we hypothesized that they persist in decaying litter for an extended period of time after leaf abscission. Fungal assemblages were assessed by high-throughput sequencing in autumn leaves of beech (Fagus sylvatica) and in the corresponding leaf litter in 388 samples from 22 beech forest plots in three widely distant regions of Germany. A considerable proportion of the leaf-endophytic fungi was also found in 1-year-old litter. Co-occurrence networks revealed that the fungi formed unstructured assemblages inside the living leaves, rather than well-structured communities. Previously endophytic fungi constituted an integral part of the fungal litter community and were by far the most active fungi in 1-year-old litter. We therefore consider these endophytic occurrences to represent transient stages. Composition of the aboveground microbiome appears therefore to be closely connected to the process of litter decomposition. Considering the respective linked fungal habitat will facilitate predicting nutrient and carbon cycling and storage in forest ecosystems as well as elucidating the ecology of leaf microbiomes.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13225-017-0390-4
Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.
Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.