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A fine‐scale spatial analysis of fungal communities on tropical tree bark unveils the epiphytic rhizosphere in orchids

Abstract : Approximately 10% of vascular plants are epiphytes and, even though this has long been ignored in past research, are able to interact with a variety of fungi, including mycorrhizal taxa. However, the structure of fungal communities on bark, as well as their relationship with epiphytic plants, is largely unknown. To fill this gap, we conducted environmental metabarcoding of the ITS-2 region to understand the spatial structure of fungal communities of the bark of tropical trees, with a focus on epiphytic orchid mycorrhizal fungi, and tested the influence of root proximity. For all guilds, including orchid mycorrhizal fungi, fungal communities were more similar when spatially close on bark (i.e. they displayed positive spatial autocorrelation). They also showed distance decay of similarity with respect to epiphytic roots, meaning that their composition on bark increasingly differed, compared to roots, with distance from roots. We first showed that all of the investigated fungal guilds exhibited spatial structure at very small scales. This spatial structure was influenced by the roots of epiphytic plants, suggesting the existence of an epiphytic rhizosphere. Finally, we showed that orchid mycorrhizal fungi were aggregated around them, possibly as a result of reciprocal influence between the mycorrhizal partners.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03279090
Contributor : Rémi Petrolli <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, July 6, 2021 - 11:25:54 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - 3:28:09 AM

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Remi Petrolli, Conrado Augusto Vieira, Marcin Jakalski, Melissa Bocayuva, Clément Vallé, et al.. A fine‐scale spatial analysis of fungal communities on tropical tree bark unveils the epiphytic rhizosphere in orchids. New Phytologist, Wiley, inPress, ⟨10.1111/nph.17459⟩. ⟨hal-03279090⟩

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