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Outcomes of fungal interactions are determined by soil invertebrate grazers

Crowther, Thomas, Boddy, Lynne and Jones, Thomas Hefin 2011. Outcomes of fungal interactions are determined by soil invertebrate grazers. Ecology Letters 14 (11) , pp. 1134-1142. 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01682.x

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Abstract

Saprotrophic fungal community composition, determined by the outcome of competitive mycelial interactions, is one of the many key factors affecting soil nutrient mineralisation and decomposition rates. Fungal communities are not generally predicted to be regulated by top-down factors, such as predation, but rather by bottom-up factors, including resource availability. We show that invertebrate grazers can exert selective pressures on fungal decomposer communities in soil, reversing the outcomes of competitive interactions. By feeding selectively on the cord-forming fungus Resinicium bicolor, isopods prevented the competitive exclusion of Hypholoma fasciculare and Phanerochaete velutina in soil and wood. Nematode populations also reversed the outcomes of competitive interactions by stimulating growth of less competitive fungi. These represent two opposing mechanisms by which soil fauna may influence fungal community composition and diversity. Factors affecting soil invertebrate communities will have direct consequences for fungal-mediated nutrient cycling in woodland soils.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: decomposer interactions; decomposition; ecosystem functioning; fungal community; grazing; mycophagy; nutrient cycling; soil biodiversity; soil fauna
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1461-023X
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:35
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/23155

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