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Spatio-temporal variation of core and satellite arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus communities in Miscanthus giganteus

Barnes, CJ and Burns, CA and van der Gast, CJ and McNamara, NP and Bending, GD (2016) Spatio-temporal variation of core and satellite arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus communities in Miscanthus giganteus. Frontiers in Microbiology, 7. ISSN 1664-302X

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Abstract

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are a group of obligate plant symbionts which can promote plant nutrition. AMF communities are diverse, but the factors which control their assembly in space and time remain unclear. In this study, the contributions of geographical distance, environmental heterogeneity and time in shaping AMF communities associated with Miscanthus giganteus (a perennial grass originating from south-east Asia) were determined over a 13 months period. In particular, the community was partitioned into core (abundant and persistent taxa) and satellite (taxa with low abundance and persistence) constituents and the drivers of community assembly for each determined. β-diversity was exceptionally low across the 140 m line transects, and there was limited evidence of geographical scaling effects on the composition of the core, satellite or combined communities. However, AMF richness and community composition changed over time associated with fluctuation within both the core and satellite communities. The degree to which AMF community variation was explained by soil properties was consistently higher in the core community than the combined and satellite communities, suggesting that the satellite community had considerable stochasticity associated with it. We suggest that the partitioning of communities into their core and satellite constituents could be employed to enhance the variation explained within microbial community analyses.

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