Effect of floristic composition and configuration on plant root mycobiota: a landscape transposition at a small scale

Abstract : Fungal communities in the root endosphere are heterogeneous at fine scale. The passenger hypothesis assumes that this heterogeneity is driven by host plant distribution. Plant composition and host plant configuration should then influence root fungal assemblages. We used a large-scale experimental design of 25 mixtures of grassland plants. We sampled Brachypodium pinnatum in each mesocosm, and used amplicon mass-sequencing to analyze the endospheric mycobiota. We used plant distribution maps to assess plant species richness and evenness (heterogeneity of composition), and patch size and the degree of isolation of B. pinnatum (heterogeneity of configuration) on fungal community assembly. The Glomeromycotina community in B. pinnatum roots was not related to either floristic heterogeneity or productivity. For Ascomycota, the composition of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) was driven by plant evenness while OTU richness decreased with plant richness. For Basidiomycota, richness increased with host plant aggregation and connectivity. Plant productivity influenced Ascomycota, inducing a shift in OTU composition and decreasing evenness. Plant heterogeneity modified root mycobiota, with potential direct (i.e. host preference) and indirect (i.e. adaptations to abiotic conditions driven by plant occurrence over time) effects. Plant communities can be envisioned as microlandscapes consisting of a variety of fungal niches.
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Cendrine Mony, Philomène Brunellière, Nathan Vannier, Anne‐kristel Bittebiere, Philippe Vandenkoornhuyse. Effect of floristic composition and configuration on plant root mycobiota: a landscape transposition at a small scale. New Phytologist, Wiley, 2020, 225 (4), pp.1777-1787. ⟨10.1111/nph.16262⟩. ⟨hal-02345537⟩

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