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Abstract Detail

Phylogenetic and functional patterns of host plants and their associated fungi: implications for symbiotic co-evolution, community interactions, and ecosystem processes

Parrent, Jeri L. [1], Maherali, Hafiz [1], Powell, Jeff R. [2], Klironomos, John N. [1].

Phylogenetic signal in functional diversity and community assembly of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.

In contrast to many other guilds of plant symbiotic fungi, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are a relatively low diversity, monophyletic and ancient lineage. Consistent with many other fungal communities, our understanding is limited with regard to the factors that govern AMF community assembly and the functional consequences of AMF community composition for their plant hosts. Previous studies have shown that AMF taxa vary in a number of traits relevant to their performance as plant partners, such as plant colonization intensity, soil hyphal biomass, and pathogen protection. Here we combine data from field and greenhouse studies with a phylogenetic approach to examining AMF communities to ask: (1) Are functional traits of AMF taxa phylogenetically conserved; (2) what is the spatial organization of phylogenetic community structure; and (3) what are the consequences of phylogenetic diversity in AMF community assemblages for plant productivity? Reconstructing functional trait evolution across the AMF phylogeny we find evidence for conservation of a number of traits, and this pattern is largely driven by the partitioning of trait variance between two early diverging lineages within this phylum. Our studies also show that AMF communities are phylogenetically overdispersed at spatial scales ranging from 4-576 m2, and that plant productivity increases as phylogenetic diversity is increased within constructed AMF community assemblages. These results suggest that phylogenetic structure may be an honest signal for functional diversity within AMF communities, and that phylogenetic overdispersion of AMF communities may represent functional complementarity of AMF community members, which can have a positive, synergistic effect on their plant associates.

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1 - University of Guelph, Department of Integrative Biology, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada
2 - Freie Universität Berlin, Institut für Biologie - Ökologie der Pflanzen, Berlin, D- 14195, Germany

arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
community assembly
phylogenetic structure
trait conservation.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY13
Location: Rendezvous A/Snowbird Center
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Time: 3:45 PM
Number: SY13005
Abstract ID:893