Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity and natural enemies promote coexistence of tropical tree species

Bachelot, Benedicte; Uriarte, María; McGuire, Krista L.; Thompson, Jill; Zimmerman, Jess. 2017 Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity and natural enemies promote coexistence of tropical tree species. Ecology, 98 (3). 712-720. 10.1002/ecy.1683

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Negative population feedbacks mediated by natural enemies can promote species coexistence at the community scale through disproportionate mortality of numerically dominant (common) tree species. Simultaneously, associations with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can result in positive effects on tree populations. Coupling data on seedling foliar damage from herbivores and pathogens and DNA sequencing of soil AMF diversity, we assessed the effects of these factors on tree seedling mortality at local (1 m2) and community (16 ha plot) scales in a tropical rainforest in Puerto Rico. At the local scale, AMF diversity in soil counteracted negative effects from foliar damage on seedling mortality. At the community scale, mortality of seedlings of common tree species increased with foliar damage while rare tree species benefited from soil AMF diversity. Together, the effects of foliar damage and soil AMF diversity on seedling mortality might foster tree species coexistence in this forest.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1002/ecy.1683
CEH Sections: Watt
ISSN: 0012-9658
Additional Keywords: arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, coexistence, community compensatory trend, Janzen Connell hypothesis, seedling mortality, tropical forest
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 29 Mar 2017 10:35 +0 (UTC)

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