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Secondary succession and its effects on soil nutrients and fungal communities.

By Amanda Cayo

Abstract

General EcologyFungi serve many purposes in ecosystems—from fixing nitrogen for plants to decomposing detritus. Their positive effects on forest ecosystems are well documented, but how fungal communities are affected by disturbances and change during succession is less well understood. We studied fungal communities and levels of nitrogen and carbon in the soil of forests in different stages of secondary succession following a burn chronosequence. In our study we surveyed seven species of fungi common in Northern Michigan in three burn plots at the University of Michigan Biological Station in Pellston, Michigan. We surveyed each plot three times. We also took soil samples from each plot to assess their nitrogen and carbon levels. We found no significant difference in the diversity of fungal species between plots, levels of soil nitrogen and carbon, or the carbon to nitrogen ratio between plots. However, the proportions of mycorrhizal and decomposing fungi were significantly different between plots. These data are useful for determining how fungal communities differ in different successional stages, which has not been extensively studied. Fungal community composition has a large impact on carbon and nitrogen cycling, as well as the rate of decomposition in forest ecosystems. This affects the plant communities that can thrive in these environments

Year: 2014
OAI identifier: oai:deepblue.lib.umich.edu:2027.42/110208
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