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26 janvier 2018

The role of plant mycorrhizal type and status in modulating the relationship between plant and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities [New Phytologist]

Keywords : arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, grassland abandonment, habitat hypothesis, land-use change, mycorrhizal status, plant mycorrhizal traits, plant–soil interactions, Procrustes

Interactions between communities of plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi shape fundamental ecosystem properties. Experimental evidence suggests that compositional changes in plant and AM fungal communities should be correlated, but empirical data from natural ecosystems are scarce. We investigated the dynamics of covariation between plant and AM fungal communities during three stages of grassland succession, and the biotic and abiotic factors shaping these dynamics.(...)

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26 janvier 2018

Moving in the Anthropocene : Global reductions in terrestrial mammalian movements [Science]

Animal movement is fundamental for ecosystem functioning and species survival, yet the effects of the anthropogenic footprint on animal movements have not been estimated across species. Using a unique GPS-tracking database of 803 individuals across 57 species, we found that movements of mammals in areas with a comparatively high human footprint were on average one-half to one-third the extent of their movements in areas with a low human footprint. We attribute this reduction to behavioral changes of individual animals and to the exclusion of species with long-range movements from areas with higher human impact. Global loss of vagility alters a key ecological trait of animals that affects not only population persistence but also ecosystem processes such as predator-prey interactions, nutrient cycling, and disease transmission.

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25 janvier 2018

Acidity promotes degradation of multi-species environmental DNA in lotic mesocosms [Communications Biology]

Keywords : ecological genetics, freshwater ecology

Accurate quantification of biodiversity is fundamental to understanding ecosystem function and for environmental assessment. Molecular methods using environmental DNA (eDNA) offer a non-invasive, rapid, and cost-effective alternative to traditional biodiversity assessments, which require high levels of expertise. While eDNA analyses are increasingly being utilized, there remains considerable uncertainty regarding the dynamics of multispecies eDNA, especially in variable systems such as rivers. Here, we utilize four sets of upland stream mesocosms, across an acid–base gradient, to assess the temporal and environmental degradation of multispecies eDNA.(...)

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24 janvier 2018

High intraspecific genome diversity in the model arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiont Rhizophagus irregularis [New Phytologist]

Keywords : arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), gene exchange, intraspecific variation, pan-genome, Rhizophagus irregularis, transposable elements

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are known to improve plant fitness through the establishment of mycorrhizal symbioses. Genetic and phenotypic variations among closely related AMF isolates can significantly affect plant growth, but the genomic changes underlying this variability are unclear. To address this issue, we improved the genome assembly and gene annotation of the model strain Rhizophagus irregularis DAOM197198, and compared its gene content with five isolates of R. irregularis sampled in the same field. All isolates harbor striking genome variations, with large numbers of isolate-specific genes, gene family expansions, and evidence of interisolate genetic exchange.(...)

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24 janvier 2018

Evolutionary history of mycorrhizal symbioses and global host plant diversity [New Phytologist]

Keywords : evolution, habitat specialization, host plant diversity, mycorrhizal associations, plant nutrition

The majority of vascular plants are mycorrhizal : 72% are arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM), 2.0% are ectomycorrhizal (EcM), 1.5% are ericoid mycorrhizal and 10% are orchid mycorrhizal. Just 8% are completely nonmycorrhizal (NM), whereas 7% have inconsistent NM–AM associations. Most NM and NM–AM plants are nutritional specialists (e.g. carnivores and parasites) or habitat specialists (e.g. hydrophytes and epiphytes). Mycorrhizal associations are consistent in most families, but there are exceptions with complex roots (e.g. both EcM and AM). We recognize three waves of mycorrhizal evolution, starting with AM in early land plants, continuing in the Cretaceous with multiple new NM or EcM linages, ericoid and orchid mycorrhizas. The third wave, which is recent and ongoing, has resulted in root complexity linked to rapid plant diversification in biodiversity hotspots.

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