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Abstract Detail

Fungal functional traits in a changing world

Koide, Roger [1], Fernandez, Christopher [2].

Determining place and process: functional traits of ectomycorrhizal fungi.

Ectomycorrhizal fungi are dominant soil residents in important ecosystems throughout the world.  The functional traits possessed by these fungi profoundly influence their ecology.  Response traits determine membership in communities.  Effect traits influence ecosystem function.   We ask: 1) what response traits contribute to structuring a community, and 2) what effect traits influence ecosystem function?  Melanin production is a response trait.  Melanin concentrations vary widely among ectomycorrhizal fungi.  We propose that Cenococcum geophilum is successful in relatively arid habitats because it produces melanin in its cell walls.  Under mild water stress, inhibition of melanin reduces the growth of Cenococcum geophilum, and following severe water stress (desiccation), inhibition of melanin inhibits growth of Cenococcum geophilum.  Melanin and chitin concentrations are effect traits.  Greater chitin concentrations are associated with more rapid decomposition rates and, thus, more rapid rates of N cycling.  Greater melanin concentrations, on the other hand, are associated with reduced decomposition rates and, thus, enhanced C sequestration and reduced rates of N cycling.  

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Related Links:
Roger Koide
Chris Fernandez

1 - Brigham Young University, Biology, 401 Widtsoe, Biology, Provo, Utah, 84602, United States
2 - Penn State University, Ecosystem Science and Management, University Park, PA, 16802, USA

functional trait
soil fungi
community structure
ecosystem function.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY1
Location: Auditorium/Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center
Date: Monday, June 9th, 2014
Time: 3:00 PM
Number: SY1001
Abstract ID:42
Candidate for Awards:None

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