Feb 9, 2018

Responses of Aquatic Hyphomycetes to Temperature and Nutrient Availability: a Cross-transplantation Experiment

Microbial Ecology
Javier PérezJesús Pozo


Aquatic hyphomycetes represent a large component of the microbial assemblage that decomposes submerged leaf-litter in fluvial ecosystems. The structure and activity of these fungal decomposers depend on environmental factors. Fungal communities may adapt to local habitat conditions; however, little is known about how fungal communities respond to abrupt changes in factors such as nutrient availability and temperature. To respond to this question, we carried out a cross-transplantation experiment, which assessed the decomposer activity and structure of this microbial community on decaying leaves transplanted from a cold and oligotrophic stream (S1) to a warmer and nitrogen-richer one (S2) and vice versa. Results were compared to those from untransplanted leaves decomposing either at S1 or at S2. In terms of days, untransplanted leaves were decomposed at a similar rate in both streams; the change to warmer and nitrogen-richer waters (S1 ➔ S2) significantly enhanced the decomposition process while the reciprocal transplantation (S2 ➔ S1) did not alter decomposition rate. However, when standardizing the temperature effects by using degree-days, microbial decomposers under colder conditions were more efficient in terms of accumulate...Continue Reading

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