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Invertebrate grazing affects nitrogen partitioning in the saprotrophic fungus Phanerochaete velutina

Tordoff, George M.; Chamberlain, Paul M.; Crowther, Thomas W.; Black, Helaina I.J.; Jones, T. Hefin; Stott, Andrew; Boddy, Lynne. 2011 Invertebrate grazing affects nitrogen partitioning in the saprotrophic fungus Phanerochaete velutina. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 43 (11). 2338-2346. 10.1016/j.soilbio.2011.07.005

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Abstract/Summary

The heterogeneity of nutrients in forest soils is governed by many biotic and abiotic factors. The significance of nutrient patchiness in determining soil processes remains poorly understood. Some saprotrophic basidiomycete fungi influence nutrient heterogeneity by forming large mycelial networks that enable translocation of nutrients between colonized patches of dead organic matter. The effect of mycophagous soil fauna on these networks and subsequent nutrient redistribution has, however, been little studied. We used a soil microcosm system to investigate the potential effects of a mycophagous collembola, Protaphorura armata, on nutrient transfer within, and nutrient loss from, the mycelium of a saprotrophic basidiomycete fungus, Phanerochaete velutina. A N-15 label, added to central mycelium, was used to track nitrogen movement within the microcosms across 32 days. Although collembola grazing had little impact on delta N-15 values, it did alter the partitioning of N-15 between different regions of mycelia. Less N-15 was transferred to new mycelial growth in grazed systems than in ungrazed systems, presumably because collembola reduced fungal growth rate and altered mycelial morphology. Surprisingly, collembola grazing did not increase the mineralization of N from mycelium into the bulk soil. Overall, our results suggest that mycophagous soil fauna can alter nutrient flux and partitioning within fungal mycelium; this has the potential to affect the dynamics and spatial heterogeneity of forest floor nutrients.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.soilbio.2011.07.005
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 onwards > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 1 - Monitoring and Interpretation of Biogeochemical and Climate Changes > BGC - 1.3 - Quantify & attribute changes in biogeochemiical cycles ...
CEH Sections: Shore
Parr
ISSN: 0038-0717
Additional Keywords: Collembola, stable isotopes, 15N, mycelium, cord-forming basidiomycetes
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 25 Jan 2012 10:46
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/16161

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