Publication details.


Author(s):J. Pérez, A. Martínez, E. Descals, J. Pozo
Title:Responses of Aquatic Hyphomycetes to Temperature and Nutrient Availability: a Cross-transplantation Experiment
JCR Impact Factor:3.611
Issue No.:2
Abstract:© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. Aquatic hyphomycetes represent a large component of the microbial assemblage that decomposes submerged leaf-litter in fluvial ecosystems. The structure and activity of these fungal decomposers depend on environmental factors. Fungal communities may adapt to local habitat conditions; however, little is known about how fungal communities respond to abrupt changes in factors such as nutrient availability and temperature. To respond to this question, we carried out a cross-transplantation experiment, which assessed the decomposer activity and structure of this microbial community on decaying leaves transplanted from a cold and oligotrophic stream (S1) to a warmer and nitrogen-richer one (S2) and vice versa. Results were compared to those from untransplanted leaves decomposing either at S1 or at S2. In terms of days, untransplanted leaves were decomposed at a similar rate in both streams; the change to warmer and nitrogen-richer waters (S1 ➔ S2) significantly enhanced the decomposition process while the reciprocal transplantation (S2 ➔ S1) did not alter decomposition rate. However, when standardizing the temperature effects by using degree-days, microbial decomposers under colder conditions were more efficient in terms of accumulated heat, independent of the initial or final incubation site. Regarding community structure, taxa richness and diversity of aquatic hyphomycetes appear to be favoured under warmer and richer conditions, increasing after transplantation to S2 but with little effect on the predominant taxa. However, the reciprocal transplantation (S2 ➔ S1) yielded a clear decline of the dominant taxa at S2 (Lunulospora curvula) in favour of the local dominant ones. Thus, effects of environmental changes on activity and community structure can be highly variable and not always clearly linked or reciprocal. Therefore, results from simplified experimental designs (e.g. artificial assemblages under laboratory conditions) must be taken with caution. Additional field studies and manipulative experimentation dealing with natural communities are required when trying to extend individual results to complex scenarios such as those projected by global change.

Related departments

  • Animal and Microbial Biodiversity
  • Related research groups

  • Ecology and Evolution