Elevated CO < inf> 2 and O < inf> 3 effects on ectomycorrhizal fungal root tip communities in consideration of a post-agricultural soil nutrient gradient legacy

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© 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA). Despite the critical role of EMF in nutrient and carbon (C) dynamics, combined effects of global atmospheric pollutants on ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF) are unclear. Here, we present research on EMF root-level community responses to elevated CO2 and O3. We discovered that belowground EMF community richness and similarity were both negatively affected by CO2 and O3, but the effects of CO2 and O3 on EMF communities were contingent on a site soil pH and cation availability gradient. These results contrast with our previous work showing a strong direct effect of CO2 and O3 on sporocarp community dynamics and production. We discuss the possible role of carbon demand and allocation by EMF taxa in the discrepancy of these results. EMF communities were structured by a legacy of spatially defined soil properties, changing atmospheric chemistry and temporal dynamics. It is therefore necessary to understand global change impacts across multiple environmental gradients and spatiotemporal scales.

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