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Invertebrate grazing affects nitrogen partitioning in the saprotrophic fungus Phanerochaete velutina

Tordoff, George Mark, Chamberlain, Paul, Crowther, Thomas, Black, Helaina, Jones, Thomas Hefin, Stott, Andrew and Boddy, Lynne 2011. Invertebrate grazing affects nitrogen partitioning in the saprotrophic fungus Phanerochaete velutina. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 43 (11) , pp. 2338-2346. 10.1016/j.soilbio.2011.07.005

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Abstract

The heterogeneity of nutrients in forest soils is governed by many biotic and abiotic factors. The significance of nutrient patchiness in determining soil processes remains poorly understood. Some saprotrophic basidiomycete fungi influence nutrient heterogeneity by forming large mycelial networks that enable translocation of nutrients between colonized patches of dead organic matter. The effect of mycophagous soil fauna on these networks and subsequent nutrient redistribution has, however, been little studied. We used a soil microcosm system to investigate the potential effects of a mycophagous collembola, Protaphorura armata, on nutrient transfer within, and nutrient loss from, the mycelium of a saprotrophic basidiomycete fungus, Phanerochaete velutina. A 15N label, added to central mycelium, was used to track nitrogen movement within the microcosms across 32 days. Although collembola grazing had little impact on δ15N values, it did alter the partitioning of 15N between different regions of mycelia. Less 15N was transferred to new mycelial growth in grazed systems than in ungrazed systems, presumably because collembola reduced fungal growth rate and altered mycelial morphology. Surprisingly, collembola grazing did not increase the mineralization of N from mycelium into the bulk soil. Overall, our results suggest that mycophagous soil fauna can alter nutrient flux and partitioning within fungal mycelium; this has the potential to affect the dynamics and spatial heterogeneity of forest floor nutrients.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: collembola; stable isotopes; 15N; mycelium; cord-forming basidiomycetes
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0038-0717
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:20
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/19935

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