Event Title

Fungal Diversity: From Seeds to Landscapes

Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

1-5-2014 10:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 11:00 AM

Project Type

Poster- Restricted to Campus Access

Description

As urban and agricultural areas expand, landscapes are becoming increasingly fragmented. More fragmentation can lead to smaller fragments, which support fewer species. Further, along the edges of fragmented landscapes abiotic and biotic factors are prone to disturbance. In smaller fragments, edge effects are more influential. In our experimentally fragmented landscape in Kansas, succession has progressed slower on small patches. One factor shown to be related to succession is negative feedback between plants and fungal pathogens which accumulate around specific plant species. Fungal pathogens therefore accelerate succession by decreasing the competitive ability of early successional plants, allowing later successional plants to replace them. In this study, we examine fungal pathogen diversity and specificity in seed hosts which have been buried in small and large fragmented landscape. We asked whether fungal morphotype richness differed between plot sizes. We also compared fungal community composition between patch sizes. Finally, we characterized the fungal communities in seeds of three host plant species. Does the morphotype richness vary within each host species? Are any of the pathogens specific to one host? To address these questions, we buried seeds at the edges and centers of large patches and in small patches for one year. The fungi from all seeds were cultured and identified by morphotype. We have found no significant difference in diversity levels between plot sizes. However, there is a very high level of fungal diversity, and we have likely only sampled a small portion of it. We also have found that composition may vary with patch size. Within our apparently limited sample, we have found host-specific fungi, indicating that plant-fungi feedback may influence succession.

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Biology Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Natural Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

871

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 1st, 10:00 AM May 1st, 11:00 AM

Fungal Diversity: From Seeds to Landscapes

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

As urban and agricultural areas expand, landscapes are becoming increasingly fragmented. More fragmentation can lead to smaller fragments, which support fewer species. Further, along the edges of fragmented landscapes abiotic and biotic factors are prone to disturbance. In smaller fragments, edge effects are more influential. In our experimentally fragmented landscape in Kansas, succession has progressed slower on small patches. One factor shown to be related to succession is negative feedback between plants and fungal pathogens which accumulate around specific plant species. Fungal pathogens therefore accelerate succession by decreasing the competitive ability of early successional plants, allowing later successional plants to replace them. In this study, we examine fungal pathogen diversity and specificity in seed hosts which have been buried in small and large fragmented landscape. We asked whether fungal morphotype richness differed between plot sizes. We also compared fungal community composition between patch sizes. Finally, we characterized the fungal communities in seeds of three host plant species. Does the morphotype richness vary within each host species? Are any of the pathogens specific to one host? To address these questions, we buried seeds at the edges and centers of large patches and in small patches for one year. The fungi from all seeds were cultured and identified by morphotype. We have found no significant difference in diversity levels between plot sizes. However, there is a very high level of fungal diversity, and we have likely only sampled a small portion of it. We also have found that composition may vary with patch size. Within our apparently limited sample, we have found host-specific fungi, indicating that plant-fungi feedback may influence succession.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/39