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The theory of island biogeography applies to ectomycorrhizal fungi in subalpine tree “islands” at a fine scale [Ecosphere]

Keywords : distance decay, ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi, Illumina MiSeq, island biogeography, next generation sequencing (NGS), Pinus albicaulis, Pinus contorta, taxa–area relationship, Yosemite National Park

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

The theory of island biogeography, which predicts that species richness is a function of island size and distance from the mainland, is well tested with macro-fauna and flora. Yet, in many ways, microbes are more appropriate for testing this and other ecological theories due to their small size and short generation times that translate to an ease of replication. We used a natural experimental system of isolated “host islands” to test the generality of the theory of island biogeography. Specifically, we tested whether ectomycorrhizal fungal (EMF) richness increased with tree size and decreased with distance from forest in a subalpine basin in Yosemite National Park for two congeneric pine species, Pinus albicaulis and Pinus contorta.(...)

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